Archives For Expository Preaching

How can you tell that your pastor loves you? This could get tricky. We might be tempted to exegete his facial expressions, evaluate his manners, or consider whether or not he sends you a birthday card. However, the Bible actually gives several ways that demonstrate this love.

One of the ways the pastor shows his love is by feeding the flock (the church) the Word of God.

Where do we get this from? There are many places in the Bible, but a good place to see this is in John chapter 21.

“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”” (John 21:15)

Jesus tells Peter to feed his lambs. He says the same thing in verse 17. The word has to do with caring for or looking after the flock. In the Middle Eastern agrarian culture the shepherd would lead his flock to food and the still waters of refreshment. He ensured that they were properly fed.

Continue Reading…

This sermon and this section in particular was a great blessing to me today. Is Spurgeon’s great longing and prayer beginning to be realized in our day? To some degree you would have to say “yes.”

Read and enjoy! Continue Reading…

Delayed adolescence is a reality in American families. There is no disputing the massive increase in number of young people that choose to live with their parents late into their 20′s and in some cases into their 30′s. Insurance companies have taken notice of this and have extended coverage of “children” well into the mid to late 20′s. There is no surprise then that while adolescence is prolonged the expreriences that correspond with being an adult are decreasing. Marriages are decreasing while video games sales are increasing. The delayed adolescence of the American youth is a fascinating and increasingly troubling trend.

But I am not a sociologist. I am a pastor. My concern is with the attitude and culture of delayed adolescence in the church. More specifically, I am not here thinking primarily about the evangelical culture that tends to awkwardly squirm away from and therefore curiously mute the conversation of male leadership in the church. I am thinking far more broadly than even this, to the philosophy and theological vision of churches that cultivate and promote a delayed doctrinal adolescence in the church.

Continue Reading…

This past weekend I preached a sermon on giving. As I was preparing the sermon I realized that in over 8 years of full-time ministry I have never preached a sermon on giving. My first response was a self-congratulation. I am not like those unbalanced, prosperity guys nor like the manipulating, arm-bending preachers who guilt trip those who don’t tithe.

Amid the back-patting I was convicted. The Bible talks a lot about giving and Jesus rings the stewardship bell quite often himself. How is it that I have gone through this many sermons without addressing it?

So why don’t we preach on giving?

Continue Reading…

One interesting aspect of living in the Midwest is the sudden change in weather. We can go from sun to ominous clouds to run for cover faster than an opponent can score on Nebraska’s Defense. A particularly captivating expression of this extreme weather is the hail storm. It is not unusual to see quarter, even golf-bowl sized hail bouncing off the sidewalks, cars, and roads. Once the storm has passed the damage is assessed and often times cars, roofs, garage doors and other personal property has suffered at the hands of the storm.

It is this hail-storm that has been a perennial reminder for me of my job in the pulpit.

Let me explain. The preacher’s job is to preach the Word of God (2 Tim. 4:2). That is, we are to herald, proclaim, or declare what the Bible says. As we do this we will be highlighting the unique beauty, excellency and glory of Jesus Christ. This is the preacher’s job year after year, month after month, weak after week, and sermon after sermon. We proclaim him! (Col. 1.28).

Continue Reading…

Quotes for Preachers

Erik Raymond —  July 10, 2013

As a pastor I am thankful for the technological developments of the last couple of decades. We can no do things in a matter of minutes which took previous generations hours to do. The resource and platform that seems to have set the pace is Logos. I use it daily for Bible reading, study, sermon preparation, and commentary reading. I especially appreciate how seamlessly it works across devices (iPad, iPhone, Desktop).

Logos has now released a new product that aims to help make the experience better. 1,500 Quotes for Preachers is a resource that has organized quotations by church era, title, theme, and associated Scripture reference. The breakdown of volumes are chronological (300 from the early, Medieval, Reformation, Puritans, and Modern Church). As I scanned through I found quotes from Augustine, Calvin, Baxter, Bunyan, Spurgeon, and more. With links to the original works and an easy reference slide, this made sense for me in what I do. I pass it along because I know many of this blog’s readers are pastors like me who can use all the help we can get in saving time while improving clarity.

Here is the link. Check out 1,500 Quotations for Preachers, with Slides (5 Vol.)

If you are a parent of younger children then you make decisions every day about what they are exposed to. The concern is, of course, over influence. We know that certain things (movies, music, video games, friends, etc) are impactful. These outlets can shape they way they see and experience the world. Therefore we are intentionally selective about what they see.

Pastors do a similar thing in their preaching. They look at the context and culture of their church and decide what is best in terms of exposure. They set the preaching schedule, cadence, and style off of it. As a result one of the first things that gets shifted is the depth of the sermon. The pastor (with good motives, I’d assume) keeps the content at a relatively surface level for his people to keep up and tune in.

I believe that while this is helpful in parenting and counterproductive in preaching.

Continue Reading…