Category: application

When the passage doesn’t produce a sermon – five useful questions to ask.

I took the passage to a local coffee shop, and watched the customers. What does this passage have to say to 21st century urbanites, most of whom gave up on the god-idea years ago? How does this prise open their questions, address their fears and hopes, shift their distracted focus onto Christ?

What happens before, and what happens after, a sermon

Every so often I go away on a conference to sharpen my preaching skills – in fact, I’m on one at the moment. Something like this has popped up in my diary every year since – well, since a long time ago, and it is one of the top two things that help me improve. 

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‘Cutting to the Heart’

“Cutting to the Heart’ now available in both paperback and ebook form. Publisher’s Description On the Day of Pentecost, when the apostle Peter addressed the crowd, the people were ‘cut to the heart’ and asked how they should respond to what they had just heard (Acts 2:37). According to the letter to the Hebrews, ‘the

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Even bigger than Star Wars…

I’m delighted to to announce that my next book will be out in the summer. IVP will be publishing it, under the title: ‘Cutting to the Heart: Applying the Bible in Preaching and Teaching.’ The basic argument is that God uses his Word to change us to be like Jesus, and when we preach we should

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The Land of Nod – when people fall asleep in your sermon

It happened last Sunday, but it had happened many times before – five minutes into the sermon, and someone had disconnected, glazed over and was gently heading into a doze.  Five minutes! How do you react when that happens? (At least, I assume it happens to other people and it’s not just me? Yes?) I’ve

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The question is not, ‘How can I be understood?’, but, ‘How will I be misunderstood?’

              Every preacher is a communicator, and every good preacher thinks hard about that part of the work.  We think about difficult concepts, and how to make them clear, about whether minor grammatical issues are actually ideas on which a whole argument turns – and so on.  We know that

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