Text-Driven Blog

How Do Preachers Arrive at the Theological Idea of a Text?

“Any time you say something, you are saying it to the exclusion of something else.” As a young MDiv student, I found those words from my preaching professor, Dr. Steven Smith, to be so simple, yet profoundly important. Think about it. You can’t say two t... Read More »

Narrative and Memorization: What Role Does Memorization Play in Storytelling

Everyone loves a good story, and Scripture is filled with them! Noah and the flood, Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22, Ruth, and Jonah come to mind. Much of the Bible is written in narrative genre. All narratives have certain things in common: setting, character... Read More »

The Narrative that Fails: What Makes Some Stories Stick and Others Fail

One of the leading practical theologians that has shaped my preaching and pastoral ministry is my non-theologically trained mother, Kay R. Parks. My mother’s keen perspective comes from the pew as a Christian, parishioner, pastors wife and mother of two budd... Read More »

The Narrative that Works: How to Make a Story Unforgettable

Preaching comes with a set of all too common difficulties that give the most experienced preacher trouble. One of these happens to be preaching through narrative passages. The reason for this has to do with much of the Bible being narrative. Narratives are any... Read More »

The Narrative and Its Construction: Steps to Crafting a Captivating Story

Preaching the Bible in a boring way—that’s just plain wrong. God’s Word is inerrant, inspiring, living, and breathing—and yet sometimes we preach it like it’s dead. We’re all guilty of this—be it from lack of preparation, distracted studying, or ... Read More »

The Narrative and Illustrations: Should Preachers Illustrate a Story with a Story?

Charles Spurgeon said, “It is impossible to lay down a rule as to how much adornment shall be found in each discourse: every man must judge for himself in that matter.”[1]Charles H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students, reprint (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1979)... Read More »

The Narrative and Setting: What Role Does the Setting Play in Preaching

Everyone loves a good story. This is evident in the number of movies made and the amount of fiction books produced. We love to be teleported to a different time or place. It causes our emotions to experience highs and lows. Stories are wonderful things. But he... Read More »

The Narrative and Characterization: How Biblical Characters Inform the Meaning of a Text

All of life is a story within a story.  Jaques in Shakespeare’s play, As you Like it, said it this way, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”  At our best, you and I are merely a small part within a much larger drama. ... Read More »

The Narrative and Plot: Why Progression in a Story Matters When Preaching

Stories have a flow and a progression. Some narratives are more rigid like a robot dictating a deposition transcript, and others escort you gently like a feather traveling on a quiet fall breeze. This progression in a narrative is often referred to as plot. Pl... Read More »

Preaching and Leadership

We live in a time obsessed with leadership. From TED talks to Facebook message boards, people (leaders and non-leaders) possess a plentitude of opinions on the proper practice of leadership. This obsession isn’t a modern, secular phenomenon either. The evang... Read More »

Preaching and Ethics

Almost every invitation to preach that I receive comes with a stipulation—“Please preach on [insert current ethical hot topic].” Such requests have become so common that I have even joked with a friend of mine, who receives invitations to preach weekly, ... Read More »

Preaching and Crisis Management

“So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” Nehemiah 6:3 Every pastor no doubt begins the ministry with the ideal in mind. He will sp... Read More »

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