The Captain Obvious Of Preaching

The Captain Obvious Of Preaching

I have noticed in the communication field that it is all too easy to succumb to the “Captain Obvious Trap.” One of the commentators on the Tennis Channel, for example, is notorious for telling viewers that “Wow, Novak Djokovic is really flexible,” or “Man, can John...

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Preaching For DECISION While Remembering MOTIVATION

Preaching For DECISION While Remembering MOTIVATION

As thrilling as it is to ensure that at least a moment in every sermon points to Christ and him crucified, it is even more so when sermons issue an urgent yet loving appeal to surrender to his Lordship. Doing this well involves doing it with variety. It includes...

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Preaching For Applause?

Preaching For Applause?

While most Methodist churches refrain from all kinds of clapping — either the rhythmic kind during a praise song or the appreciative kind during a sermon — Good Shepherd has always been one of the exceptions. We clap during most songs on most Sundays.  We even clapped...

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The Social Solitude Of Preaching

The Social Solitude Of Preaching

Preaching is an intensely solitary activity. Preaching is a thoroughly social exercise. Which is it?  Solitary or social? Yes. My own process of preparation is wholly wrapped in solitude.  I study, I jot, I brainstorm, I fret, I pray, I get excited, I become...

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Preaching And The Sacred Act Of Noticing

Preaching And The Sacred Act Of Noticing

I am moved by the self-awareness of poet and memoirist Patricia Lockwood. Here’s how she words it in the best-selling Priestdaddy: I consider myself on an anthropological mission, much like Margaret Mead. I have discovered that this makes almost anything bearable – it...

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How To Say No To Notes

How To Say No To Notes

Preaching without notes is the opposite of “winging it.” In my case at least, it is the result of a highly personalized (OK, maybe even somewhat OCD) process that’s built on these three premises: Internalize, don’t memorize If you get lost during delivery, you’re the...

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Top Five Ways Preaching Is Like (And Even Unlike) Tennis

Top Five Ways Preaching Is Like (And Even Unlike) Tennis

If you have spent any time in this space or if you know me personally, then you're probably aware that two of the strongest passions of my life are preaching and tennis? So: how are these things alike? How are they different? It’s actually something I’ve thought about...

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Turning A Blooper Reel Into A Highlight Tape

Turning A Blooper Reel Into A Highlight Tape

On a recent Sunday morning, as I neared the climactic moment of the sermon where I was to reveal the bottom line, I was supposed to read Psalm 109:30: With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord; in the great THRONG I will praise him. Except that’s not what came out...

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