Text-Driven Blog

Getting Fresh: Reflections on Storytelling and Illustration

I have the distinct privilege of teaching preaching to the next generation of expositors at Criswell College in Dallas, Texas. To date, I have taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels as full-time faculty for 5 years. Over the past 5 years, I have expos... Read More »

New Approaches to Familiar Texts

While God’s Word is inexhaustible, it can become so familiar that we often miss some of the most significant messages in Scripture. The key is to always know the complete context and to examine the text for keywords. We may become so focused on the message t... Read More »

Tips for Freshening Application

Preaching is not merely a transmission of facts; it is at least this, but it answers the question of “So what?” with these facts. Preaching is application-oriented. Haddon Robinson said, “Application gives expository preaching purpose.”[1]Haddon Robins... Read More »

Changes to Make in Sermon Preparation

Until recently, for the last 14 years, I have been preparing to preach or teach at least three times a week to a wonderful little church. It has been my greatest joy in ministry but it has also presented some of my greatest struggles. Week after week I would f... Read More »

Keeping Sermons Fresh

A pastor and congregation spend hundreds of hours together in the sermon experience over multiple years. Most of us preachers have a particular delivery style that we typically use. Your familiar style can be very comfortable for the congregation because they ... Read More »

How Not to Spice Up Your Sermons

The longer I’ve been in pastoral ministry the greater the pressure to “spice up” my sermons. After preaching to the same people every week, we eventually run out of our best illustrations and stories, so there’s a feeling at times that our sermons have... Read More »

Trying New Delivery Methods

Even with a commitment to expository preaching that is faithful to the biblical text, there is nothing in the pages of scripture that mandates the preacher preaching every sermon in the same exact mode of delivery. Indeed, there may be times when the occasion ... Read More »

Preaching Difficult Texts

Preaching is hard. Our responsibility to rightly divide the word of truth requires discipline and diligence (2 Tim 2:15). And, the magnitude of our task and ultimate accountability before the Lord is humbling and, in many ways, overwhelming (cf. Js 3:1). But t... Read More »

The Need to Preach Seldom-Preached Texts

I was a newly-minted pastor. Fresh off of my first couple of expository book studies, I announced that I would be preaching the life of Joseph. The excitement was tangible. Unfortunately, I had not adequately prepped the series and was laying it out as I went.... Read More »

The Praying Preacher

This year I celebrate 40 years of service as a staff member at a Southern Baptist church. For the past 36 years, I’ve served as a senior pastor in four SBC churches. Each church was different in size and membership make-up. All have been a blessing. Early on... Read More »

Sermon Critique

Each week we want to give our people the best sermon we have ever preached. We pray for God’s wisdom and power. We study and write. We wordsmith and craft clear illustrations. We practice and we edit before we stand in that sacred place of proclamation to de... Read More »

Mentoring: Teaching Other Preachers

Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, Paul and Timothy. Mentorship is an established tradition within our faith. Proverbs 27:17 reads, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” It’s clear that we need each other. In 2 Timothy 2:2, an... Read More »

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