Mostly Ministry

15
Feb

My Thoughts on “Preaching Sticky Sermons” by Rookiepreacher.com

Once a month, I write for rookiepreacher.com and when Brandon and Joe announced their new book I jumped at the chance to get an advanced copy.  “Preaching Sticky Sermons” is a book you should have in your library.  The tag line is: “The Complete Practical Guide to Preparing, Writing, and Delivering Memorable Sermons” and they deliver on the promise.

They divide the book into 4 sections:

  • Great Preaching Begins With Great Preparation
  • Write For Maximum Impact
  • Deliver Intentionally and Powerfully
  • Beyond Sunday

The book has many strengths and here are 3 that stand out for me:

  • The seriousness for which they take the preaching task.
  • The desire to let the Scripture speak for itself.
  • The amount of time they take hammering home the importance of application.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

“Once you have the single, main passage identified, read it, study it, and then answer these 5 questions:
1. What do I, or others believe that goes against this text?
2. What do I or others do that goes against this text?
3. How might some people interpret this text in a way that resolves the tension of application and action?
4. What problem in life does this text address?
5. How do people justify that problem in their lives so they don’t have to deal with it?”

I know we all do this in one way or another but having these questions and filling them in as you study will help keep you in the passage, keep you practical and speed up your study.

However, you want to say it, “soup to nuts”, “beginning to end”, “A-Z”, “everything and the kitchen sink”, Joe and Brandon have created a great resource for preachers whether you are a beginner or a veteran.

Don’t just take my word for it here are some other reviews.

To close, here are a few of my favourite (I’m Canadian) quotes from each major section of the book.

Great Preaching Begins With Great Preparation:

  • “My biggest prayer is that God would push me to the side and that He would take over and simply use me as to tool to accomplish what He would like to do.”
  • “If you want to see God work in a special way in your message it must be biblically true.”
  • “Theologians like systems. Sometimes, in our actions, not our intentions we end up evaluating a system above Scripture.”

Write For Maximum Impact:

  • “Weeks where you don’t feel particularly creative can be vital to you realizing how much you depend on God to give you the words to say.”
  • “You should be as crystal clear in your application of the text just are you are crystal clear in explaining the meaning of the text.”
  • “Spend time addressing what the application of the text looks like for each stage of life and situation that your congregation may resonate with.”

Deliver Intentionally and Powerfully:

  • “Every time you walk on stage you have an opportunity to make a connection with your audience or your notes. Which will you choose?”
  • “Your voice is a powerful too. The spoken word has started wars and ended wars. It has brought peace to chaotic situations and it has brought chaos to peaceful situations.”
  • “The Biblical text, the Scripture, the Gospel need to be the centerpiece of your message and as great as modern media, and movies and video clips can be they do not have the saving power of Jesus.”

Beyond Sunday:

  • “With the expansion of technology, you have an extraordinary opportunity to further your sermon content beyond Sunday morning.”
  • “If you’re not intentional about furthering that content past Sunday, you’re doing a disservice to the people who God has entrusted you to serve.”
  • “If you are utilizing a one-point sermon, your bottom line should be something that can be utilized as a tweet on Twitter.”

 

 

13
Feb
09
Feb

Leadership Lesson at 30,000

We were getting ready to take off from Monterrey International Airport in Mexico. We had just spent a wonderful week at Possibilities House For Children. After walking down the narrow aisle, contorting to put my luggage in the overhead compartment, doing a twist and a side move, I ended up sitting next to a fellow Canadian.

Leadership Lesson at 30,000 Feet

After exchanging pleasantries we moved to the “tell me about yourself” part of the conversation. She was in Mexico on business, a mom of two and was looking forward to going home. As we talked about travel, she mentioned her husband flies each week. The territory for his work is literally the Nation of Canada. Some weeks take him from the East Coast to the West Coast (5000 Miles). Needless to say, his frequent flyer miles and perks must be through the roof. Continue reading…

06
Feb
30
Jan
25
Jan

The 4 B’s Of Your Next Missions Trip

This past November, I had the privilege of visiting, Possibilities House For Children, which our church sponsors.   I had been in Mexico in 2008 and from the night our plane landed when we returned home I had been looking forward to going back. I will never be known as a “Preparation Genesis” but I thought I would put together some thoughts to help you get ready for your next missions trip.

The 4 B's Of Your Next Missions Trip

 

 

 

Be Prepared

  • Look up the ministry and familiarize yourself with their mission.
  • Look up the town and country and learn about the history.
  • Use an app like duolingo to learn the basics of the language.
  • Arrive at the Airport early.
  • There may be long waits at check in, security and customs.
  • Take the packing list seriously. (Bring your own toilet paper)

 

Be Adjustable

  • Weather can play havoc with your plans. (They were 3 days behind before we landed)
  • Timing of events can change on a dime depending on circumstances.
  • Food may be a stretch for your palate.
  • Don’t expect North American standards in a developing country. (If you can’t handle this stay home. – I’m serious)
  • Adjust to the fact that when you come home people may not be as interested in your trip as you will be in telling them about it.

 

Be Thankful

  • For the opportunity to serve (You’re not on vacation)
  • For you hosts who give up much to serve.
  • Every morning tell you hosts one thing you enjoyed from the previous day.
  • Show thankfulness by bringing a small gift for your host, leaving a thank you card, writing an email or adding them to facebook.

 

Be A Promoter

  • Journal your trip on twitter, Facebook or your blog. (Remember pictures are worth a thousand words)
  • Sponsor their ministry.
  • Talk it up to whoever will listen.

As a promoter let me encourage you to check out Possibilities House For Children they are doing a great job of rescuing, restoring and redeeming kids in Mexico.  They get 2 thumbs up from me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

23
Jan
16
Jan
11
Jan

Truth Is – You’re Not To Busy To Pray

Truth Is – You’re Not To Busy To Pray

We all know we should pray but what we know we should do and what we actually do are two different things.  For me prayer in the morning works best.  If not, then my day starts rolling and I find it hard to slow down and get into the prayer zone.

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Sometimes my prayer life is like driving on the highway at 2 in the morning. Nothing to slow me down, nothing to distract me, it’s just smooth sailing.  Other times my prayer life is like driving downtown in the summer. Stop and go traffic, lots of detours and lots of distraction.

For all of us there is one lie we have either  believed, are believing or will believe in the future.

“I’m to busy to pray.”

  • My job is demanding.
  • I have small kids, life is demanding.
  • I have to care for my aging parents, life is very demanding.

Even though all of these situations may be true, we are still not to busy to pray.

Let’s consider one day in the life of Jesus early in His ministry, from Mark 1.

7899422014_9d0b940bec_bHere’s what His agenda looked like:

  • Morning – Teach in the synagogue and heal a demon possessed man.
  • Afternoon – Heal Peter’s mother-in-law, have lunch, take a nap.
  • Evening – Revival/healing meeting.

After such a busy day, here is what Mark records happens next:

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)

This is normally where the preacher would say, “Be more like Jesus, get up early tomorrow and start praying!!!!!!  Let’s close in prayer.”

“Ok, yes I agree we should be more like Jesus but my challenge still exists.  Where am I going to find the time?”

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I know this will be difficult but just imagine for a moment that you are “average”.  I know it’s going to be a stretch but try anyway:)

The average Canadians adult spends 30 hours a week watching TV.

The average 18-24 year old spends 31 hours a week online which includes 10 hours of watching TV.

The average Facebook user spends 400 minutes a month online. ( I think this one seems very low)

 

I think for all of us it’s more honest to say, “I choose to __________ instead of pray.”

My purpose it not to make you feel guilty but to remind all of us that there is enough time to pray.

The challenge of prayer will always be before us.

So what can we do to make prayer more consistent in our lives?

Finding time is a world that screams 24 hours a day for our attention is difficult but making prayer a priority will be the best daily decision you will ever make.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Wiedmaier / Foter / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: DigitalRalph / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: alirod11 / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

11
Jan

How To Pray For The Prodigal In Your LIfe

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To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons.  The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. (Luke 15:11-12)

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“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living.  About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. (Luke 15:13-14)

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About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve.  He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs.  The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. (Luke 15:14-16)

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 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! (Luke 15:17)

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 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you,  and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’  “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.  His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.

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“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.  His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet.  And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast,  for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

These are dangerous prayers but if we are not praying for the prodigals in our lives who will?  With prayers like these things may get worse before they get better but remember the words of Jesus.

“One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.” (Luke 18:1)