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Two False Assumptions to Leave Behind When You Preach

I realize that we pastors are going way beyond motivational speaking in our sermons. We are sharing the gospel and leading people to the cross. But we are still speakers and communicators nonetheless, and our effectiveness and influence depend on our understanding something about the nature of speaking. Seth Godin, a marketing guru with much to teach the church, wrote about speaking and had this to say: Speaking in public: two errors that lead to fear... 1. You believe …

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What I’m Teaching at Exponential West 2013

I just received final word about the sessions I'll be teaching at Exponential West at Saddleback Church in a few weeks. It's not too late to join me! SESSIONS Session 1: Going Social to Plant Churches Planting churches requires us to be relational, which means getting offline. But what if real relationships could be initiated and stimulated using social media? We'll talk about how to take a new church from ground zero to a strong launch and beyond using Facebook, …

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The Three Key Components of a Solid Sermon

There are certain elements that must be included in every single sermon that we ever preach. They are non-negotiable. To put it another way, every sermon you preach has three key components... The God Component The "God component" is what sets preaching apart from other kinds of public speaking. We are God's spokespeople. We preach His word, not ours. And as we consider the role of God in the sermon, we have to ask some pretty pertinent questions: Have I recognized that …

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Road Trip! Who’s With Us?

In 20 days or so, we'll be pulling out of Laguna Hills, California in our Penske truck and heading to northwest Arkansas to start planting Grace Hills Church. I love road trips!! I especially love road trips when I meet interesting people along the way, and that's why I'd love to see you along the way. There are some amazing churches and church leaders scattered along this 1,560 mile journey and if you're one of them, I would love to meet you, hear your story, and pray …

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6 Ways to Abuse Your Freedom of Speech and 6 Ways to Respect It

I believe in free speech. I'm glad it's the very first thing we added to the United States Constitution. I'm all for the freedom of the press, and I think blogging, social media, and even email (as a mass distribution weapon) are all great ways to exercise this freedom. These new technologies level the playing field and allow the huddled masses to become citizen journalists. This is all good. The only problem with freedom is our tendency to abuse it. I manage …

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How to Tell Stories Like Scott Simon

Scott Simon is a journalist with National Public Radio. He's been telling huge stories for most of his career and he's an expert when it comes to phraseology and keeping a conversational tone. Whether you're telling a story in a speech or sermon, or shooting a short video for a Youtube marketing campaign, Scott's advice will take you a long way. Here's the video, then my takeaways... Can't view it? Here's the Youtube Link Pointers for Telling Stories These …

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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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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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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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