Archives for November 2011

5 Ways to Preach Right to Your Congregation’s Hearts

While it’s easy for you to teach your church new theological nuggets, and it’s easy to give a few practical applications, it’s not so easy to impact your congregation’s hearts in your sermons. Ultimately changing the heart is a result of the work of the Spirit. But that doesn’t excuse us from quenching him with how we […]

When Interruptions Help You Become a More Complete Pastor

A common frustration in ministry is when demands on our time and energy surprise us. The result is that we can’t focus on what we planned to work on because what came in unplanned is urgent. What I’ve discovered about these surprises is that these interruptions are often not interruptions in the truest sense. A […]

Be Quick to Reread, Slow to Outline, and Slow to Read Commentaries

Busy pastors must always fight the tendency to crank out sermons. The signs that you are preparing a sermon in crank out mode are manifold. You read your passage through once or twice. As you read, you look immediately for application. You divide the text up into its parts, not to break down the author’s […]

5 Ways to Imitate John Stott: Tim Keller’s Message at Stott’s Memorial Service

It is always inspiring to hear stories of a life lived well for God’s glory and kingdom. I had the privilege to attend John Stott’s memorial service last week. His was very much one of those lives. Tim Keller gave the sermon for the service from Hebrews 13:7, “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to […]

Build an Illustration File That’s Easy to Use with Evernote

Has the time and effort of building and using an illustration file caused you to stop using yours? Is that the reason you haven’t bothered to put an illustration file together in the first place? Yet the merits of having illustrations filed away can’t be overstated. Having them on hand is much easier than thinking […]

The Getting Things Done Productivity Method in a Nutshell

The complexity of the Getting Things Done method of productivity scares a lot of people away. It’s not a perfect method, and it does take time to learn. But if you stick with it, there is a simplicity on the other side of the complexity that will help you, well, get things done. David Allen summarizes […]

How to Call for a Gospel Response Like a Calvinist

In case you haven’t been over to The Gospel Coalition Blog in a while, get on over and check out my article, “How to Call for a Gospel Response Like a Calvinist.” I hope that you find it helpful.

A Quick Way to Accurately Preach Jesus From the OT

It is difficult to accurately preach Jesus from the Old Testament. One danger is to over-spiritualize the OT with the result that you allegorize the passage. But another danger lurks for those who conscientiously avoid allegorizing. That mistake is to always move toward the gospel in the exact same way. In order to avoid both […]

An Isaianic Spin on the “I Am” Statements in the Gospel of John

I have been thoroughly enjoying Schreiner’s New Testament Theology. At 864 pages, it’s a redwood that will fall only with consistent swings of the ax over a long period of time. Especially for a slow reader like me. In his chapter “Son of God, I Am, and Logos,” he connects  Jesus’ “I am” statements to […]

How Divine Power Works Differently than Superhuman Power

Last week I had on of those distracted and unmotivated days in the office. I was grinding it out. My eyes kept drifting from my books. I couldn’t concentrate on my sermon prep. I broke my “check email three times a day” rule, like, twelve times. And it was only 10 a.m. For motivation, I […]

3 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting the Important Stuff Done: A Diagnostic

Have you been struggling to devote your energy to what has the biggest payoff in ministry? Has time in the Word, in prayer, and with people been shuffled to the corner for more urgent tasks? Maybe you’re busy all day, but nothing important seems to get done. From my own experience, when I don’t accomplish […]