Category: preaching

Leading and feeding the church – how are they related?

Churches, like any human organisation, cannot operate long-term as shapeless, improvised groupings. And even though an occasional New Testament scholar will suggest that the first few decades of the church had an exciting, free-form style, which only much later hardened into a hierarchy, when we turn to the New Testament, we can see that the experience of the very first Christians was much more complex.


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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When the passage is just too hard: ten tips for preaching the really tough stuff

This week has given me the preacher’s headache: a really, really difficult passage.  One of those ones where the commentaries delight in saying, ‘This is one of the most problematic texts in the canon’.  One where you start to wonder if you will have anything useful to say come Sunday, or if anyone will notice

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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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The One Thing

There is a huge difference between answering a question hypothetically, and answering it in reality. Take Peter Drucker’s famous clarifying question: ‘What is my single greatest contribution to this organisation?’ I think most Pastors answer that in terms of broad, but good, generalities. I’ve done that too: since I believe that our concern is with

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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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