Text-Driven Blog

Manipulation vs. Persuasion

“Please stand for the reading of God’s Word.” There it is: manipulation. Before you disagree, let’s get technical. Manipulation is the action of operating, arranging or controlling something or someone else. Any behavioral modification you influence as... Read More »

Engaging the Audience’s Emotions

C. W. Brister,[1]C. W. Brister was a professor of Pastoral Ministry at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX for 47 years. During this time it was said that Brister instructed more men in pastoral ministry than any other in the history of... Read More »

Cutting Unnecessary Details from Your Study

One of my favorite television shows from my childhood was Full House, which chronicled the life of a widower Danny Tanner, his three daughters (D.J., Stephanie, and Michelle), brother-in-law Jesse Katsopolis, and his childhood best friend Joey Gladstone as the... Read More »

Communicating Credibly

In the earliest surviving treatise on the subject of persuasion, The Art of Rhetoric (330 B.C.), Aristotle said there are three things that persuade listeners: logos, pathos, and ethos. Logos is the persuasive appeal of a sound argument supported by good evide... Read More »

So What’s the Big Idea: Making Our Sermons Concrete

As expositors, we’ve all struggled with how to make our sermons “stick” with our people. As we work through the text, wrestle with the syntax, and come to an understanding of the passage, we do so with the hope that on Sunday the congregation... Read More »

Bringing Your Audience Along for the Ride

As I write this post I have five children. Yes, five children. Four boys and one girl. All under the age of 8. Needless to say, things are a little crazy around our house. I am a father to three fun, wild, silly boys, one sassy-sweet little girl, and a 6 week ... Read More »

Incorporating Surprise into Your Sermon

What makes a good sermon?  Duane Kederman, of Christian Classics Ethereal Library, sought to find out some answers to this question, so he enlisted a target group to provide feedback.  Listeners stated several variables which made some sermons better... Read More »

How to Make Your Sermon Interesting and Memorable Pt. 2

In his classic On Christian Doctrine (Book 4), Augustine extols rhetoric as the handmaid of truth. Rhetoric must never degenerate into the role of court jester in preaching. We have all witnessed the preacher who “with conjuring adroitness keeps pr... Read More »

How to Make Your Sermon Interesting and Memorable Pt. 1

“Some people preach for an hour and it seems like twenty minutes, and some preach for twenty minutes and it seems like an hour. I wonder what the difference is? I think I’ve spent my life trying to answer that question.” So said the Dean of Evangelical h... Read More »

Seeking Simplicity in Your Sermons

To maximize the impact of the thesis, I encourage my students to think of it in terms of a sentence that includes both a subject (what is true) and a complement (what to do). I also stress that their thesis should be timeless and concise (no unnecessary words)... Read More »

The Minister’s Reflection

Here we stand at a turning point of our lives, at the end of one year and the bright beginning of another. Many of us will kick off the year with a bang as we stay up and ring in the New Year with loved ones. For most people, this time of the year brings [&hel... Read More »

How Preaching Teaches a Congregation to Read Their Bibles

In the early days of movies on DVD, I was living the high life when I scored an RCA 5-disc DVD player with my RadioShack employee discount. Soon after, a friend loaned me his copy of the hit action movie S.W.A.T., which had been burned on two discs. I microwav... Read More »

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