Why You Need Imperatives in Your Sermons

“It is, however, vital to understand that, although ‘Christianity begins with a triumphant indicative’, it does not end with one. Certainly, the indicative mood in Christianity enjoys a preponderance; it does not, however enjoy an exclusiveness. Christianity is not altogether in the indicative mood. Indeed, although there is a primacy and a priority about the […]

The Monty Python Secret to Creative Sermon Illustrations and Applications

How can a pastor come up with captivating illustrations on a weekly basis? What does it take to think up applications that actually lead toward change in your congregation? Where does that creativity come from? These topics are common in my sermon coaching conversations. Interpreting the passage accurately is hard enough. But it is only […]

How to Preach to Every Culture in a Single Sermon

I’ve been reading Tim Keller’s Center Church, these days, and I’ve enjoyed it immensely. In his section on contextualization, Keller points out the importance of preaching in a way that is culturally relevant to your audience. The reason is that different cultures respond to different kinds of preaching. Keller writes: Contextualized gospel communication will adapt […]

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 […]

How to Do Application Without Becoming a Quick-Fix Artist

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 […]

How to Saturate Your Sermon with Application Without Sacrificing Doctrine and Exegesis

There are three common factors that cause preachers to quarantine application to a mere few corners of their sermon. One is the misconception that application and doctrine is a zero sum game. The more you have of one, the less you have of the other. As we will see, that isn’t true. A second is […]

What Cover Songs Can Teach Us about Doing Application in Our Preaching

The weekly task of the pastor is to take what the Bible meant back then and show how, when taken to heart, it changes everything in the here and now. Easier said than done, especially in passages that don’t explicitly command or call to repent. If homiletics is the art and science of proclaiming the […]

5 Resources to Check Out to Improve Your Application in Your Sermons

A reader emailed me last week with a question about doing application in sermons. I bet many preachers have the same question as Glenn (published with his permission): Hi Eric, I read your post about preaching like Mark Driscoll without sounding like him. You mentioned that Driscoll’s applications are very specific, and I’m wondering if you could […]

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, […]