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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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The 25 Most Influential Preachers of the Last 25 Years

This month's copy of Preaching Magazine arrived a week or so ago and Billy Graham made the cover for a story in which Michael Diduit names 25 of the most influential Preachers of the last 25 years. The article has also been published at Sermon Central for you to read. There are several names on the list who have made a significant impact on my own life and ministry. Some have shaped my view of preaching, others have shaped my view of life. Of note... …

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An Entire Sermon In One Graphic

Possible working concept for the camp theme for the Meramec Baptist Association's summer youth camp. …

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A Cool Idea for Message Presentations

At our church, we use PowerPoint at the moment, but we're looking into a few other great church/worship presentation platforms. No matter what you use, I thought this was a really cool idea. What went through my head was a Pastor jotting his notes down during the week, then literally allowing his notes to be shared with the entire congregation in this fashion... pretty cool idea. Let Out the Creative Beast Can't view it? Check it out on SlideShare. …

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The Pastoral Calling and Role

I love being a Pastor. I'm passionate about preaching. I am humbled that God has called me to shepherd a flock of His choosing. And I especially love the fuel that fires me up - the Word of God and what it has to say about whom I am. One of my favorite passages on the subject is Paul's gut-wrenching goodbye to the Epehsian elders who met him at the island port city of Miletus. It's recorded in Acts 20:17-38. I've been reading it afresh today and have discovered a pattern …

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Why Avoid the Tough Questions?

Last night in our midweek Bible study, as I was stumbling around the book of 1 Corinthians, a conversation / discussion erupted. Actually several did. We somehow wound up on the issues of people receiving "revelations" and the doctrine of baptismal regeneration (being baptized as a part of being born again). I'm not writing to address either of those questions here (though I'll tell you I'm wary of anyone with a "revelation" and don't believe baptism is part of the new …

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Three Functions of the Word of God

Every time I stand up to preach, I have the privilege of watching God's living word accomplish dynamic things in the lives of people. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul spells out three distinct functions that the Word of God performs in our lives... As you know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father does his children. ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:11 Now watch this... To "exhort" is to BUILD UP people. To "comfort" is to HOLD UP people. To "charge" …

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What Sets Preaching Apart from Other Public Speaking?

My favorite classes at Western Kentucky University weren't the Religious Studies courses (my major), or even the History courses (my minor). My favorite classes were in the area of speech and professional communication (what I wish had been my major). I grew up super-shy like almost every other Pastor I know, but have grown to love speaking to crowds of people. I'm a student of public speaking, in fact. But when I enter the pulpit to preach on Sundays, something is …

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Hey Pastor, Can You Translate This Message?

You can't undervalue truth and content in a message, but you can fail to drive it home if you can't translate it. consider this thought from Making a Difference in Preaching: Haddon Robinson on Biblical Preaching... Spurgeon was right: the people in the marketplace cannot learn the language of the academy, so the people in the academy must learn the language of the marketplace. It's the pastor's job to translate... …

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Boring Preaching Is A Crime

No, this is not a post about the loss of our religious freedom - it's a reflection on a quote I've looked at many times since I first wrote it down about nine years ago at a conference on preaching... If you think the gathering of biblical facts and standing up with a Bible in your hand will automatically equip you to communicate well, you are desperately mistaken. It will not. You must work at being interesting. Boredom is a gross violation, being dull is a grave offense, …

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