Do You Make These Excuses to Avoid Sermon Illustrations?

sermon-illustrations-excuses

There’s a nasty rumor going around that says you’re either a natural at illustrations, or a dud. There are some preachers who think so creatively that they call forth their illustrations ex nihilo while preparing their sermons in a chase lounge, sipping Arnold Palmers. Then there are preachers who have two left brains. The toes [...]

5 Common Causes of the Unproductive Productivity System

productivity-pitfalls

You are not guaranteed to be productive just because you have a productivity system in place. That’s the first step, not the last one. The second step is putting the system to work. This step tends to trip people up. If you have assembled a system for getting things done, but you’re not getting those [...]

Shepherd Links – 8/25

Prophet Links Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical Middle Way? An interview with the authors of what is proving to be a step forward in the conversation regarding dispensational and covenant theology. John Frame’s Advice: 30 Suggestions for Theological Students and Young Theologians The God Conversation: Using Stories and Illustrations to Explain Your Faith Only $2.99 [...]

How to Build a Do It Yourself, Ikea-Hacked, Stand Up Desk

stand-up-desk

After reading about how hazardous it is to your health to sit all day long (like here and here), I started to look into stand up desks. The problem is that most of them are really expensive, and really ugly – an acceptable combination only when it comes to big dogs. Ikeahackers.net So I gave [...]

The Danger of Leaving the “Why” Out of Your Application

This is a guest post by Jeff Brewer, lead pastor of Hope Fellowship in Lombard, IL (Acts 29). Hope is the most recent church plant of College Church. Jeff also wrote “5 Enemies of the Productive Church Planter” for this blog. You can follow him on Twitter.  It’s tempting to only give the how when you preach on verses [...]

Shepherd Links – 8/18

Prophet Links How Should a Pastor Respond When He Is Complimented About His Sermon? Things I’ve Learned Along the Way… 103 lessons on ministry after 21 years on the job. The Difference Between a Theologian of the Cross and a Theologian of Glory Which one are you? Priest Links Gospel Fellowship Silly Peter: “Before certain men [...]

The Top 10 Verses For Every Preacher to Highlight in His Bible

highlight-bible

Every preacher needs a “go to” list of Bible verses to either kick him the butt, or pick him up when he’s down. I hope these do both for you. 1. Galatians 2:20 Your identity is not in your sermon, it’s in Christ. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who [...]

Introducing a New Way to Improve Your Preaching at Pastoralized

sermon-coaching

Nothing helps you grow as a preacher like having a real conversation with a real person about a real sermon that you are going to preach. This summer I piloted a Sermon Coaching program that proved extremely helpful to those who participated. With an actual sermon on the line, the tailor-made advice and personal connection [...]

Shepherd Links – 8/11

Prophet Links Does Proverbs Teach “the Health, Wealth, and Prosperity Gospel?” Loved this line: “There’s an eternity of difference between the Prosperity Gospel and Gospel Prosperity. Let me give you five statements that will help clarify that difference.” 5 Things We Do Today Instead of Preach the Word 3 Questions Every Preacher/Teacher Should Ask When Studying You may not [...]

4 Inspiring Ministry Quotes from Piper, Spurgeon, Lloyd-Jones, and Kent Hughes

I had the honor of guest posting at Zach Nielsen’s blog this week (one of my fave’s), sending him excerpts of books on pastoral ministry that have impacted me. I’ve linked to all four below, for your Friday reading pleasure. (By the way, if you dig jazz music, be sure to check out Zach’s jazz [...]

Can’t Keep Up? Try this Simpler Approach to Productivity in Ministry

productitivity-ministry-simple

The solution to your current stress level might not be to reduce your work. It might be to reduce the ways you do your work. If you want to be more productive in ministry, I suggest you work more like a squirrel, and less like a bee. Allow me to explain. Earlier this summer, both [...]

How to Do Application Without Becoming a Quick-Fix Artist

sermon-application-quick-fix

Doing application in your sermon can feel like using the bathroom at a gas station. You need to do it. You’re not looking forward to it. And once you take care of your business, you feel gross and glad at the same time. The glad feeling (with application, that is) comes from knowing you did [...]

Shepherd Links – 8/4

Prophet Links Pastors: Recommit Yourselves to What You Were Ordained to Do The Pitfalls and the Promise of Expository Preaching That Scriptures May Be Fulfilled: Perspective on Post-Preaching Feeling Priest Links How To Pastor Or Befriend Those With The Artistic Temperament The Prayers of a Worship Leader The Three R’s of Christian Engagement in the [...]

3 Ways Pastoral Burnout Can Sneak Up on You

The thing about burnout is that you don’t know you’re susceptible until it’s too late. You were flying high in ministry, and then all of a sudden you’ve crashed. The natural busyness of ministry can lead to burnout, but that is not something we can control. Our best defense against that kind of burnout is [...]

3 Common Sermon Illustration Mistakes And the Easy Way to Fix Them

sermon-illustration-mistakes

Even though illustrations are meant to draw your congregation into your sermon, many pastors tell illustrations that push people away. It’s like trying to catch butterflies with a ping pong paddle. And everyone in the pews wishes they had stayed in their cocoons that morning. The really bad part is that we think the paddle [...]