Can Shorter Prayers Be Better?

When it comes to prayer, according to Martin Luther, the shorter, the better. In Taking Hold of God: Reformed and Puritan Perspectives on Prayer, Brian G. Najapfour quotes Luther: “Our prayer must have few words, but be great and profound in content and meaning. The fewer the words, the better the prayer; the more words, the poorer the prayer. Few words [...]

7 Prayer Lists You Already Have

The problem with prayer lists is that we feel productive after making one, even if don’t get around to actually praying. That’s like drafting a fantasy football team and never setting your roster the whole season (don’t you hate that guy?). Only this is worse, since the people in your church are real. So time is [...]

Jonathan Edwards on What to Do If Your Time Management Stinks

Does your time management stink?  It’s easy for pastors to sit in their office and waste time on unproductive activities. Is that you? (Me nodding.)   Edwards says your time is too precious to waste In his sermon, “The Preciousness of Time,” Jonathan Edwards tells us why and how to improve our use of time: [...]

10 Things That Make a Pastor Remarkable

The thing that makes pastors remarkable is not what they do for God. It’s what God has done for them. Marvel at the work of God that makes your life and ministry remarkable: 1. He saved you from your sin and his wrath by making you alive in Jesus (Eph. 2:1-5). 2. He gave you [...]

5 Ways to Create Interest When You Do Exegesis in Sermons

In your preaching, how many times have you tried to communicate an amazing exegetical insight, only to watch the eyes of your audience steadily glaze over? You thought you had them, but you lost them. We have all been there, more often than we’ll admit. The solution is not more illustrations and less exegesis, at [...]

How Do the Two Halves of Exodus Fit Together?

The book of Exodus has always seemed a bit schizophrenic to me. The story grips the reader with the miracles, plagues, and the parting of the Red Sea in the first half. Then the second half turns to complaints, laws, and blueprints, with a few stories dropped in. What gives? How (I think) the two [...]

A Not-Famous Pastor’s Take on the Evangelical Hollywood

I was reminded of the polarizing effect famous Christian leaders have on the masses at The Gospel Coalition National Conference last week. It seems to me that people can potentially fall into two extremes. First there is the cynical camp. At best, the cynic derides everyone who attends conferences as wide-eyed fan-boys. At worst, he [...]

GNT Software That Rivals BibleWorks and Accordance for Just 10 Bucks

ESV has finally rolled out their long awaited GreekTools, an ESV and Greek New Testament software combo that is sure to become a regular part of your study. My friend, Brian – star of the video below – was a big player in developing the online software. Check out the video, then head over to [...]

Salient Sound Bites From Al Mohler at The Gospel Coalition

Al Mohler kicked off the offical Gospel Coalition Conference with a message titled, “Studying the Scriptures and Finding Jesus,” from John 5:31-47. His point was that Christians must read the Old Testament, and see the redemption of Christ that is written into it. Here are some quotes I wrote down during the message. I don’t [...]

4 Ways to Overcome the Monday Preaching Hangover

Ever experience the Monday “preaching hangover”? Ever not experience it? Brian Croft, over at Practical Shepherding, has a great post answering the question: how do you overcome the Monday morning preaching hangover? He gives four ways: 1. Pray and read Scripture. 2. Know your limitations. 3. Exercise. 4. Assign yourself achievable tasks. Read the rest.

A Biblical Argument for the Inerrancy of Scripture from G.K. Beale

Many conservative scholars deny the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture. They do so on the grounds that it was a fundamentalist invention to fight liberalism – evolution in particular – in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. These conservatives are perfectly willing to affirm the doctrine of inspiration, because it can be clearly developed [...]

The Difference Between the Law and the Gospel: Which Do You Preach More?

I’m pursuing ordination with the goal of finishing in early October. So far, my greatest joy in the process has been working through the four volumes of Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics. He brilliantly summarizes the difference between the law and the gospel in the paragraph below. As you read, ask yourself if one comes out in [...]

How NOT to Deal With Your Frustration In Ministry

Frustration is common in ministry. The pastors who avoid frustration best tend to be best at avoiding preaching the gospel. But if we follow the Lamb wherever he goes, and preach his blood, we will encounter slices of the conflict and opposition that eventually got the Lamb slain. So the question is not how do [...]

Leadership Coaching at The Resurgence

I just happened upon some great leadership videos by Mark Driscoll at The Resurgence. I think you check them out (registration required). I just watched one on prophet, priest, and king leadership styles, which are strong in preaching, counseling, and administrating respectively. I was encouraged that Driscoll said some things I’ll be writing about in [...]

Use Thematic Outlines to Grasp the Big Picture of a Book of the Bible

I don’t usually feel helped by the outlines of books of the Bible that I find in commentaries, Bible dictionaries, or study Bibles. They’re usually too general and rarely identify a theme that summarizes the whole book. The outlines I find most helpful are what I call thematic outlines. They do two things: 1) state [...]

7 Tips to Be a More Interesting Preacher

I was going through some old files this morning, and stumbled across “Keeping It Interesting as a Young Preacher,” by Philip Jensen. He gives seven tips. 1. When you preach, be as good as you can. 2. Fledgling preachers tend to be boring (but err on the side of being too heavy, rather than too [...]