Sermon Illustration: Sheep

Sheep and shepherds are word pictures used throughout both Old and New Testaments. If you preach the Bible long enough, you are guaranteed to talk about how clueless sheep are and how all of us are in such desperate need of the Good Shepherd.

Continue Reading

Tillers of the Soil: Preacher, Help Them Understand!

Recently I was struck by a word Jesus used several times throughout the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13. The word used in English translations is understanding. Those who hear the word and understand it are those who produce a multiplying crop. Those who understand have good soil so the seed can take root. On the other hand, those who hear the word and do not understand are like seed that falls on the hard path. What struck me was the difference between the people who respond to God’s Word (or, in the parable, the different soils). According to Jesus,...

Continue Reading

My Story (The Preaching Version)

God has called me to preach to church people—those church people who think they know the God of the Bible but, honestly, haven’t really encountered Him yet. They love a good sermon and teach a good Sunday School lesson, but rarely get blown away with the biblical God. I am called by God to change that. Several events in my life brought me to this.

Continue Reading

New Book Guaranteed to Help Your Preaching

I try to get my hands on anything Eugene Peterson writes. I love his style. I love how real he is. He is old and therefore wise. And he is one of the most loving pastors I have ever read. The second I saw he had a new book coming out, I told Amazon to pre-order it so I could have it in my hands the moment it was released.  I had no idea it was a book of 49 sermons he had preached for his congregation! The book is called As Kingfishers Catch Fire.

Continue Reading

How Long Should a Sermon Be?

As you probably already know, there are as many opinions about this as there are belly buttons. Everybody has one. Every preacher and every person sitting in the pews. My opinion? A good sermon should last 24 minutes and 38 seconds. Just kidding. I am not going to try to give a definitive time frame here. The fact is, I have been captivated by preachers who have preached close to an hour, and I have been transformed by a sermon that was 15 minutes. The opposite is also true. My soul has left a worship service hungry due to the...

Continue Reading

Should I Use Sunday’s Text For My Personal Devotions?

The preacher is constantly in the Word thinking about the upcoming sermon. Sundays come fast and the preacher has to be ready with “a word.” Mike Glenn says, “Sunday comes every 3 days.” It definitely seems that way. Because we preachers are always thinking about Sunday and due to the time crunch, it is tempting to use the text we are preaching for our own personal devotions. I don’t believe this is smart. Here’s why:  Personal Devotions are Personal. Sermons are for Congregations.

Continue Reading