Text-Driven Blog

The Autonomy Challenge: Cultivating a Spirit of Humility in an Age of Independence

To assume that our autonomy often fosters a spirit of independence is not much of a stretch, but to acknowledge that it infiltrates the preaching event probably escapes most of us. It certainly has for me often. I suggest that in the preaching event we battle ... Read More »

The Apathy Challenge: How to Keep the Sermon Interesting When People Become Disinterested

Let’s face it. We have all seen their faces. Bill looks likely to snore at any moment. Cindy seems to be staring off into outer space. John’s iPhone has him on lock. The youth giggle flirtatiously. Even worse, you watched at least a dozen folks who attende... Read More »

The Evangelism Challenge: How to Create a Culture of Evangelism in the Pulpit

The Apostle Paul depicts the clear description of the gospel in his statement, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the... Read More »

The Expectation Challenge: The Necessity to Balance Pastoral and Preaching Duties

Within the course of a normal day I wear several hats: resident theologian, primary preacher, chief administrator, counselor, hospital chaplain, bereavement specialist, and most importantly husband and father. These responsibilities alone are more than the res... Read More »

The Prestige Challenge: The Danger of “Keeping Up with the Jones'” as a Preacher

Prestige is defined as “reputation or influence arising from success, achievement, rank, or other favorable attributes.”[1]”Prestige” from http://www.dictionary.com/browse/prestige?s=t. Can the desire for prestige become a danger for th... Read More »

The Passion Challenge: Why Preachers Need Both Light and Heat in the Pulpit

It’s Sunday night. It’s late. You’re exhausted. But you just can’t seem to turn off your mind. You had an unexpected funeral on Tuesday (when are they ever expected?), a wedding on Saturday, and you preached the best sermon you knew how—but no one se... Read More »

The Media Challenge: Proclaiming Ancient Truth Amidst Sensory Bombardment

In 1953 Ray Bradbury published the dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451.  In it protagonist Guy Montag observes his wife using “Seashells,” described as follows: And in her ears the little Seashells, the timble radios tamped tight, and an electronic ocean of so... Read More »

The Hurt Challenge: Why Brokenness and Suffering in the Pew Makes Preaching Difficult

Someone has said, “Preach to hurting people and you will never want for an audience.” Suffering is universal. Adam brought sin to the human race. Suffering is the byproduct of sin. Even when suffering is not associated with sin, it is because of sin that s... Read More »

The Heart Challenge: The Heart of the Problem is the Problem of the Heart

Great preaching aims at more than the head. Being truthful and touching the intellect both matter deeply. We are, after all, called to preach God’s word, and that deals with facts, knowledge, and reason. But great preaching recognizes that just as the head n... Read More »

The Truth Challenge: Preaching Absolute Truth in An Age of Relativism

I remember being in Phoenix, Arizona, years ago with my family. It was a place that I used to live, so I was rather excited to show my wife and kids all around the area of the city that I grew up in. And when it came to dinnertime, I couldn’t wait to take th... Read More »

A Word to Young Preachers about Pride

NOTE: This post is slightly revised from David L. Allen, 1-3 John: Fellowship in God’s Family, in Preaching the Word, R. Kent Hughes, ed. (Wheaton: IL, 2013), 275-77. If you are in a leadership position in someone’s church, and especially if you are a past... Read More »

Advice for Preachers

In his book, Design for Preaching (1958), Henry Grady Davis offers some sage advice for preachers. Here are some of his insights: The preacher has only so much time for preparation, and it is never enough time. If he devotes too much time to form and too littl... Read More »

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