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Go, Disturb Your City

Two thousand years ago, the good news of Jesus Christ had a tendency to upset entire social structures, flipping society upside down and leveling the playing field so that people from any position in life could have a restored relationship with God because of what Jesus Christ accomplished by His death on the cross. Throughout the New Testament, we read repeatedly of cities that were "disturbed" by the presence of the gospel (Acts 17:6). This coming Sunday, I'm going to …

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Every Pastor Should Read ‘Note to Self’

"Preaching it" is easier than living it. This creates significant problems when our speaking talent outweighs our personal character. Therefore, it is imperative that we, as shepherds, shepherd ourselves - that we hear the Word, do the Word, and preach to ourselves first. That's why I love Joe Thorn's book Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself (Re: Lit Books). We often buy books to help us prepare sermons. You should buy this book to help prepare yourself. …

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Easter Means Healing Now, Hope Forever

Let me focus in for a moment on Simon Peter, one of the key disciples surrounding Jesus. You may know the story by heart in which Peter asserted that He would never dessert the Lord Jesus, to which Jesus replied, “Before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.” Sure enough, Peter forsook his allegiance to the Lord Jesus and denied Him, even cursing, to distance Himself from the cross. For Peter, the story didn’t end there. There was a time of restoration and …

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Seven Ways Twitter Will Improve Your Preaching and Teaching

John Calvin published 22 volumes of commentaries on the Bible and Martin Lloyd-Jones published 9 volumes on Romans alone. What if you could remove all of the non-essential language, antiquated stories, and strip all of that knowledge down to some bite-sized, transportable truths? There is certainly room for argument against such condensation of historic works, but we have to realize that we live in a society inundated with more information in a day than Calvin consumed in a …

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Learn About Radical Preaching at Radicalis 2011

It was precisely eleven years ago when my father-in-law and I traveled to Saddleback Church for the Preaching for Life Change conference taught by Rick Warren and Tom Holladay. And it was definitely life-changing and ministry-altering. It changed the way I preached in multiple ways... I learned to bulid a bridge from "then and there" to "here and now" and make relevant applications from timeless passages. I learned how to CRAFT a sermon, which refers to a whole model …

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All Your Pastor Wants for Christmas

Disclaimer: I don’t know your Pastor (probably) and so I can’t say for sure he wants any of these things, much less that he wants these things exclusively, but I thought I’d take a stab at saying here’s what, in my estimation, many Pastors would love to have… if you’re looking for ideas. A Kindle! I don’t have a Kindle, but I do use the Kindle iphone app and if I buy books for myself, I buy them in this format. Why? I can read them anywhere. I can highlight things, add …

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The Role of Vision-Casting In Preaching

Pastor, God called you to lead. (If you're not a Pastor, but you have a Pastor, God called your Pastor to lead you.) He didn't call you to lead by consensus or by permission. He called you to lead by following His voice, and to do it boldly. Somewhere in the history of democratically-governed churches, we got the idea that Pastors are present to fulfill two roles: chaplain and Bible teacher. So what often happens is that the Pastor is expected to do the ministry while …

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Squeeze a Sermon for All It’s Worth

I just had a guest post published over at ChurchMarketingSucks.com, a site dedicated to helping the church communicate with greater excellence. A sermon takes a lot of work to produce, so my challenge is to find ways to utilize the value of it in various ways even after it's preached. Check out Repurposing Content for Maximum Impact. …

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What Language Do You Preach In?

I preach in English, because it's all I know. I took Spanish in college, but sat next to my wife and stayed distracted the whole semester - wound up with a C. But I'm not really getting at language in the sense of nationalities or tribal traditions. What I want to know is, do you speak human? One of my least favorite kinds of sermons to listen to is those that are preached in a preacher's language. I refer to them as being "preacherly." Here's the problem. Nobody talks …

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Pray for Us As Everything Changes

Angie and I have been walking through the process of following God's call to a new ministry. We had a very emotional morning today at Bethel as we shared the news that I am resigning as Pastor and my last Sunday will be July 4th. I am accepting a position on the pastoral staff of Saddleback Church in Orange County, California and we'll be moving there in early July. …

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