Jonathan Edwards is often referred to as one of the greatest minds America has ever produced. He was a theologian and philosopher, yes. But most of all, he was pastor. His writing and and speaking and ministry did not happen in a classroom or an ivory tower. His sermons prove this. He is most famous for his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” But Edwards didn’t only preach on God’s anger. Far from it. He talked more about God’s glory, the beauty of Christ, and love. One of the better Edwards’ sermons I have read is “Heaven, a World of … Continue reading Heaven, a World of Love
This is a sermon I preached last year from Psalm 88, the saddest song in the Bible. Pray Your Tears (Psalm 88) August 16, 2015 This is the sermon I think many of you have been waiting to hear. I say that because Psalm 88 is the dark, dingy, scary, unfinished basement of the Psalms. It’s the saddest song in the Bible, maybe in all the world. The psalmist is sad and begging for help. And God is silent. It’s the only Psalm that doesn’t end on a positive note. And if you have been a Christian for any length … Continue reading A Sermon from a Sad Song
What makes for a good sermon? Sound exegesis? An understanding of passage’s place in redemptive history? Quality application? These are necessary, of course. But you can have these things and still be a terrible preacher because your communication is incoherent and your organization sloppy. The art of communicating the sermon—homiletics—is just as vital as focusing on exegesis and theology. As I try to hone my preaching, I’m working on two simple homiletical elements: being clear and concise. Clarity First, ensure you are being clear. Have you ever heard a preacher begin a sermon by meandering for ten or even twenty minutes in an attempt to set up a tension (or try … Continue reading Preacher: Be Clear and Concise!
I’m fairly new to this whole preaching thing. Don’t get me wrong, I have preached and taught for several years–I served with Campus Crusade and as a pastoral intern at our last church. But I have not preached on a regular basis week-in and week-out for several years in a row. Even now in my new role at Grace Chapel, I’m not our primary Sunday preacher. This week, I will have preached four times. That’s nothing. I’ve heard it takes about preaching about 100 times to really feel like you are in a groove. Yikes. Since I’m preaching this Sunday, I … Continue reading 3 Points and a Cloud of Dust
I get the privilege of preaching God’s word to our congregation every so often, about once per month. When I preach, I will do my best to post a snippet from my manuscript (it will not always be exactly what I say!) here on the blog with a link to the full audio. In my first two weeks at Grace Chapel, I preached twice. Here’s a portion of my first sermon, “A Father and Two Sons” from Luke 15:11-32. So Jesus leaves the story open-ended. What will the elder brother do? He ends it there to leave the Pharisees and us longing … Continue reading Stand On Your Head for Joy!
Last month I gave a message to our high school ministry titled “Making All the Sad Things Untrue.” Here is a Wordle of that talk for you visual learners. Continue reading Making All the Sad Things Untrue Wordle