Sermon Preparation

Crafting the Sermon’s Introduction

 “It is the same with men as with donkeys: whoever would hold them fast must get a very good grip on their ears.” – Russian Proverb So it is for the introduction to a sermon. The preacher must capture the listener quickly. It is vital for the opening wo... Read More »

Exhortation: Functions of a Text-Driven Sermon

While a student at the Moody Bible Institute I was challenged by Dr. George Sweeting in the area of preaching. He said, “Do not fill them with the Word, thrill them with the Word.” Preaching should pack a spiritual punch. It’s not a talk, a speech, or si... Read More »

Applying the Text: Functions of a Text-Driven Sermon

Engaging exposition that is faithful to Scripture will not only explain the text, it will, of biblical and theological necessity, apply the text. It will be God-centered and Christ-focused even as it exhorts hearers to respond, react, and conform to the messag... Read More »

Illustrating the Text: Functions of a Text-Driven Sermon

It was June 1988, the city was San Antonio, Texas, and it was my first Southern Baptist Convention as a pastor. That year much in Baptist life hung in the balance, with many wondering about the direction of convention?  My former preaching professor at Southw... Read More »

Explaining the Text: Functions of a Text-Driven Sermon

Is there meaning in the text? Has God actually spoken in Scripture? These questions float around the academy, but they are more than academic. These questions frame a larger conversation in the culture about the nature of truth.  While people have these quest... Read More »

Crafting the Sermon’s Communication Outline

In their book, Power in the Pulpit: How to Prepare and Deliver Expository Messages, Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix explain how an effective expository sermon must experience two births—once in the preacher’s study and then again in the preacher’s delivery. ... Read More »

Crafting the Sermon’s Main Idea

Introduction Solid sermons have a biblical foundation. Too many sermons are based on one preacher’s opinion about what the text says. The key for every preacher is to stick to the text, to discover what the biblical author is saying so that the preacher can ... Read More »

An Overview of Text-Driven Preaching

What are the key ingredients of effective preaching? I have reflected on this question for many years and have come up with seven. Here is an outline of essential elements for good text-driven preaching from my perspective. INTERPRETATION. What is the meaning ... Read More »

Prayer

One of the most powerful experiences of my life occurred when someone challenged me to prioritize prayer in my life. When I embraced prayer in my college years, not only did it change my life, it also became formative for everything in my life. To this very d... Read More »