Keep Your Audience Engaged: What Movies Can Teach Pastors About Effective Transitions

Ever hear anything along the lines of, “Since people have shorter attention spans these days, preachers should give shorter sermons.” Really? Don’t people watch, like, 30 hours of TV a week? Aren’t most movies around two hours long? This reveals that the entertainment world is really good at keeping the attention of their audience. And [...]

The Key to Being a Humble Theologian

I met Joe Thorn at the Band of Bloggers gathering at the Gospel Coalition, and received a free copy of his recent book, Note to Self. He’s a really cool guy, and I couldn’t wait to read his book. However, my wife stole it from me when I brought the book home. Now that she has finished it, [...]

3 Types of Effective Sermon Illustrations and How to Use Them

Because I believed the #1 myth regarding illustrations, I was one of those preachers who never bothered with them. I was heavy on explanation, light on application, and neglected illustrations. What is the myth? That illustrations are for explaining your passage. I figured if I did a good enough job teaching the meaning of the text, [...]

Preach a Sermon Your Audience Can Actually Follow

The famous philosopher, Jack Handy, once said, “The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.” While we are preaching, the faces of our people can say it all, in particular, whether or not they have a clue what we are saying. We justify ourselves by blaming it [...]

Introductions: 3 Things That Will Get Your Sermon Off to an Effective Start

90 seconds is all you get. You get 90 seconds to convince your listeners that the next 35 minutes will be worth their undivided attention. Jokes will keep their attention as long as you’re funny. Stories will keep their attention as long as you’re interesting. But sooner or later (hopefully not later), you have to [...]

Are You Overlooking the Most Essential Element of an Effective Sermon?

I’m incurably skinny. I rocked a 6 foot, 145 pound frame in college. One time I broke the 150 mark, but it took lifting till I ached and eating till I wanted to puke. Then I lost all seven pounds during summer break, since I lost my access to a gym. Ever feel that way [...]

Are You a Hard Worker Or a Long Worker?

Do you pride yourself in the number of hours you log each week? It makes you feel like a hard worker. But what are you doing during all those hours? Are you actually working hard? Or does getting ministry done take so long because you spend all day avoiding the hard work of pastoral ministry? [...]

A New Series Starts Tomorrow: The Anatomy of An Effective Sermon

Have you ever walked up to the pulpit with (what you thought was) an awesome sermon, only to preach it to disinterested gazes? Have you ever walked up to the pulpit with (what you thought was) a lame sermon, only hear several responses of, “That really blessed me, pastor!” Don’t our people know an effective [...]