Preaching That Exhorts And Preaching That Evokes

Preaching That Exhorts And Preaching That Evokes

I was speaking with a good friend recently about the difference between exhortational preaching and evocative preaching. Exhortational preaching challenges. Urges. Implores. It is filled with phrases like “you should'' and “we ought” and “do this” and “consider that.”...

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Top 5 Never

Top 5 Never

There are certain things we pastors sometimes say while delivering sermons that run counter to our best interests — and undermine the effectiveness of the message we’re communicating. So here are five phrases I try my best to avoid: “If you don’t listen to anything...

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Preaching vs Counseling

Preaching vs Counseling

I probably spend 20-25 hours a week preparing messages. And 8-10 in pastoral counseling and visitation. Sometimes I wish I could counsel less so I could prepare more; other times I wish I could prepare less so I could visit more. But as I have thought about that...

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Spirit And Spontaneity

Spirit And Spontaneity

Several years ago, while in a planning meeting to plan a sermon series on the Holy Spirit, our worship design team talked about some of the misperceptions people have of ministry that is truly “Spirit-filled.” If a preacher stands and announces that he is shelving...

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Dawes And The Power Of Analogy

Dawes And The Power Of Analogy

My music tastes run decidedly to Classic Rock. The soundtrack of my youth has become the background of my, um, not youth, and I’m always good to listen to Led Zeppelin, the Eagles, the Rolling Stones, or Tom Petty. All classic, all the time. Until Dawes, that is. Who?...

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What A Presidential Biography Taught Me About Preaching

What A Presidential Biography Taught Me About Preaching

I’ll admit it: I’m somewhat obsessed with reading biographies of some of our best-known Presidents. In fact, I have labeled one of our bookcases my very own “Presidential Library” as it’s full of tomes on Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Harry Truman, Richard...

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When One Word Makes All The Difference

When One Word Makes All The Difference

Something happened recently in the preparation, preaching, and aftermath of a sermon that I just have to tell you about. During a series on the intersection of relationships, faith, and politics, I delivered a message with this as the pointed point: Don’t burn a...

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Ending When You’ve Finished

Ending When You’ve Finished

Some of you may have seen or at least heard of Sophie’s Choice, the 1982 film for which Meryl Streep won an Academy Award for Best Actress as she played the title character. I am old enough to have seen the movie, in person, in a theater, over a Christmas break while...

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Files. Files. Files.

Files. Files. Files.

I have an entire file drawer dedicated to sermon illustrations. Beginning with one for “Abortion” followed by one for “Addictions” and then continuing on to places like “Grief,” “Healing,” “Methodism” (over which I have some grief and is in need of healing!), then...

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