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Category: Preaching

4 Tips for Church Planting Pastors

December 27, 2016

“And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2 Planting ‘church-planting churches’ is our most important next generation work. This past fall, I and other pastors in Harvest Bible Fellowship had the privilege and opportunity to …

The Danger of Reductionism in Preaching

November 09, 2016

As a recovering addict of overstatement, I want to be careful in the words I choose to warn fellow ministers about the danger of reductionism in our preaching and teaching. Dictionary.com defines reductionism as: “The practice of simplifying a complex idea, issue, condition, or the like, especially to the point of minimizing, obscuring, or distorting …

How Worship Can Amplify Sermon Impact

May 20, 2016

It surprises me that it is not always apparent to the preacher of the Word that the musical support surrounding his proclamation can significantly amplify and punctuate the message God has given for the congregation that weekend.

The Tension in the Truth

March 31, 2016

During the time allotted for sermon prep, pastors frequently feel a growing dissonance about a tension created by the biblical text from which they are working. To illustrate, if I were planning to speak on abortion, I might begin to feel a growing tension as I prepare. I would sense the need to express grace …

Unapologetic Preaching and Raising Your Voice

October 30, 2015

“And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power…” (1 Corinthians 2:4). Preaching—true biblical preaching, heralding the message as Scripture commands—is becoming less and less common as the anti-authority, “God is my life coach” spirit of the age becomes more and …

5 Essentials for High Impact Preaching (things most preachers don’t do)

April 11, 2015

What do you want from your sermon at the end of the day? Vertical Church preaching is all about the expectation that God blesses the unapologetic, Spirit-dependent heralding of His Word—but is there more a preacher can do to be effective? Beyond the requisite faithfulness to Christ and His Word, can a preacher do more to amplify the …

5 Impactful Things for Better Preaching

December 30, 2014

“Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire.” Martin Lloyd Jones once said that, and it’s a favorite quote of mine. If a man can speak dispassionately about the Word of God, he has no right to be in a pulpit. But you can have right theology and authentic passion, yet not …

I Preached a Bad Sermon…

October 29, 2014

It’s a famous story in our church’s Elder history. A group of Elders and their wives were enjoying a beautiful meal together and wonderfully edifying conversation around the table, just as desert was served. My first bite of apple pie seemed unusually cold and clammy, but I didn’t want to cut into the discussion, so I …

Say the Name!

April 30, 2014

Amen? That’s it? You’re going to close your prayer with an abrupt “AMEN”? What about the Savior?

Why I Don’t Preach Sometimes

January 30, 2014

Dear Pastors and Ministry Leaders: Thank you for checking in regularly. I hope this blog is a source of strengthening for your resolve to serve Jesus with abandon, no matter the cost. And I pray this blog resources your fruitfulness in our common mission to plant and pastor disciple-making churches.

Why Am I Struggling Spiritually?

April 05, 2013

In John 9, the disciples wanted to debate with Jesus about the source of a man’s blindness—when Jesus saw him much differently. Not as an issue to discuss, but as a person to help. Why do some Christians see everything so differently? Possibly they have become consumers of spiritual content vs. disciples who are not …

Whatever is Pure

January 16, 2013

Pastors!  Are you practicing your preaching and knowing the peace of mind that comes from personal purity? Are you living inside the boundaries God has established? Hebrews 13:4 – “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.“

Can You Do It Again, Pastor?

December 14, 2012

After another exhausting week, in a string of weeks so far back I can’t see the start, I have yet another day of high-pressure message preparation. No matter what has happened this week or this month, everything is about to fade into a blur over the next 24 hours until just this single responsibility weighs …

The Preaching Pillar

October 24, 2012

“And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.” Mark 1:22 “And they were all amazed…saying, ‘What is this? A new teaching with authority!

Common Mistakes Made by Young Preachers

September 18, 2012

One of my greatest joys these days is working with young preachers, trying to ‘fast track’ them through some of the lessons I have learned through almost three decades of preaching. I was blessed to attend some great schools, but truthfully most of the bit I have learned about preaching came from painful Sunday afternoons …

Practical Help for Preachers: Set Up the Word Before You Need It!

September 13, 2012

One of the things I longed for as a young preacher—and found very tough to find—was practical help with how to actually communicate. I was deeply persuaded about the importance of exposition and the need for application and all the main things, and there was a ton of info on how to interpret and outline …

The Key Word is Boldness

August 21, 2012

Contrary to popular opinion, God has done more than give us good news He wants to get out. He has given us a manner that must accompany every method and a rationale for that manner.

The single term that best describes the way God wants his gospel given is boldness. And because it’s translated various ways, even faithful students of Scripture might overlook its frequency.

If You’re Not Heralding the Bible, You’re Not Preaching

August 14, 2012

Looking back, we can see that much of what went wrong with preaching at the end of the last century flowed from men determined to connect with their listeners. At the time, many preachers were understandably fed up with profitless Bible babbling that inflicts boredom on

Preaching the Word & a Vertical Response

June 28, 2012

The New Testament knows nothing of an unbaptized convert. Jesus asked us to do two specific things—to remember His sacrifice with the bread and the cup, and to be baptized. I’ve been preaching verse-by-verse through the book of John in a study called Authentic Jesus. A few weeks ago the entire message was dedicated to …

When I Need a Miracle: What to do While I Wait

June 19, 2012

It was a real honor for me to preach for the third time at the Southern Baptist Convention last night in New Orleans. I felt very small, sandwiched between Dr. Jack Graham

What Every Pastor Must Do

June 05, 2012

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word!

2 Problems with Consumer Christians

May 08, 2012

This weekend I preached from John 2:13-22, on Christ’s response to the consumer mindset that had taken over the temple. And nothing is more of an axe to the tree of vertical church—of God church, of glory church—than “consumer church.”

The Persevering Preacher

January 13, 2012

Nothing is more essential to success in the Christian life than perseverance. It’s the ingredient you have to have. Faith gets you started; perseverance keeps you going.   Jesus said, “He who endures to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:13). That ought to cause us some concern. He who endures to the end will …

5 Things We Do Today Instead of Preaching the Word

January 10, 2012

I wish I could tell you that most pastors are preaching the Word. I can’t—some are not. Here are five things we may choose to do instead of preaching the Word.

Things I Would Change If I Could

January 03, 2012

One more video from the Q and A sessions at the Preach the Word Conference. I trust that you’ll find this content as helpful and hilarious as I did. And I hope you make it a priority to be in a church where

Sermon Prep Methods from Some of the Best

December 28, 2011

I think about the next sermon that’s ahead of me a lot—and I’m often asked about how I prepare a message. That’s why I want you to see this Q & A clip from a Preach the Word Conference held at Greg Laurie’s church.   In it, I am with Greg (one of my best …

Jesus Christ Is Our Peace

December 20, 2011

The Hebrew shalom is a universal greeting; it means “peace, a complete state of well being.” But the New Testament significantly expands the concept of peace.

And He Is Everlasting

December 16, 2011

Again, consider this amazing verse of Scripture that tells of Jesus Christ and what He came to accomplish. Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder:

Father God Revealed in Christ

December 13, 2011

I love my children, and they love me. I love my father, and I have always known his love. But hear this: No human can fill the Father hole in the human heart. A good father helps, but

We Can Call Him Wonderful Counselor, If…

December 09, 2011

Consider again Isaiah 9:6, overflowing with a richness of depth and dimension about our Savior Jesus Christ: “Unto us a child is born; unto us a Son is given. And the government shall be

Jesus Is a WONDERFUL Counselor

December 06, 2011

You know you’re talking to a wonderful counselor when they open the Scriptures and speak the Word of Christ into your life. Find people who will go against the grain of what you want (counseling to your flesh) and speak the Word into your life that you need.

The Most Important Names of All

December 01, 2011

Names are very, very important. When you call someone out by their name, it’s kind of a big deal. Calling someone by their name indicates that you know them—that you know who they are. There’s a connection that happens when you know someone by their name…and Jesus’ names are the most important of all.   …

Make It Right With Others—Now!

November 15, 2011

Hey: Just a quick post for Pastors, and others that teach the Word, to advance our discussion of how to do it well. I wrote this “fix it before you preach” post some time ago, but I have been seeking to live it this week.

Apology School: Are you a graduate?

October 27, 2011

I have had to apologize a lot through the years—for things I did, for things I should have done, or should have done better.  I have been back at it in recent days, and a couple of weeks ago I shared with the church family what I have learned in Apology School.

2 Things a Multi-Site Pastor Can’t Do

October 25, 2011

Sometimes I get weary of people arguing for one side as though the other does not exist, when in reality it often does. Some arguments involve absolute truth and have only one side. But most division (outside what the Scriptures prescribe specifically) involves matters of

Preaching the Authority of God’s Word

October 20, 2011

Pastors, here is a foundational principle of preaching: Preach the authority of God’s Word without apology.

On Preaching Notes

September 24, 2011

I’m frequently asked about my preaching notes. In the video below, I explain the logic behind how I structure my notes. I know such things aren’t one size fits all, but hopefully there’s something helpful in there for you.

In God’s Word. For yourself. Every day.

September 14, 2011

Thoughts on preaching, continued…   3: You must be in God’s Word for yourself, every day. Your words were found and I ate them, and your words became for me a joy

Thoughts on Preaching

September 07, 2011

  I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season

On Using the Week to Prepare a Sermon

June 28, 2011

What’s Down with Hell?

April 14, 2011

God’s Word has a lot to say about the reality of hell—regardless of popular opinion or current trends. Here’s an entire message that I preached at our church called What’s Down with Hell?

Social Gospel vs Gospel Proclamation

March 04, 2010

What Gospel are you preaching? Are you preaching the true, biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ?

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