Preaching

Preaching a New Way

In this article, I’ll include excerpts from a recent sermon and share some thoughts about sermon preparation and delivery. Every pastor prepares sermons differently. My goal here is a combination of mechanics and approach―how to best capture and communicate what God is doing with what He’s saying, and to deliver shorter, more effective sermons.

All the examples which follow are from a sermon on Acts 8:2-25, titled “Peter and the Magician.”

Introductions

The introduction and conclusion are now the only portions of my sermons I script. Here is the introduction:

 

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I Magnify My Ministry (Part 2)

Last time we began a consideration of the Apostle Paul’s statement in Romans 11:13: “I magnify my ministry.” We’re thinking of some practical implications and applications of these words of Paul, which fall in the midst of his extended treatment of God’s future plan for the people and nation of Israel.

We previously pondered our need to manifest sobriety in our ministries, and also to model consistency in all that we do in our service to the Lord.

Thirdly, I believe that our text calls us to increasing levels of proficiency. For me personally, this convicts me of the need to become better equipped “to give a defense to everyone who asks” (1 Pet. 3:15).

I am continually amazed at all that people expect me, as a church ministries representative of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, to know! Their questions often leave me astounded—sometimes humbled, but usually stretched and challenged.

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I Magnify My Ministry (Part 1)

In Romans 11:13, the Apostle Paul inserts a short but pointed phrase which has the power both to convict and to inspire. He wrote simply: “I magnify my ministry.”

It seems that such a personal and dynamic statement may be better understood when it is exemplified than when it is exposited. But it has captured my imagination, and I thought that I would share a few thoughts on the subject—for my own sake, as well as those who read them.

In the context, Paul is talking about amplifying and projecting his ministry “to the Gentiles” (v. 13) in order to “provoke to jealousy” (v. 14) the Jewish people—in the sense of stirring their interest in the gospel of their very own Messiah. In essence, he wants his “countrymen according to the flesh” (Rom. 9:3) to be motivated to ask, almost defensively, “Why are you Gentiles talking about such things which, by nature, belong to us as God’s chosen people?” This, he hoped, would drive them toward the message of salvation in Christ alone.

Still, I find myself fascinated by this phrase. What did Paul specifically do to enhance and advance his ministry in this way, and what can we learn from him? How can we apply this concept to our spheres of service?

I do not claim that my thoughts here are exhaustive or conclusive—I only hope that they are encouraging, enlightening and instructive.

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How much should a pastor talk about textual variants when preaching through books of the Bible?

"...ministers can err in one of two directions....such specificity that we run the risk of undermining the confidence God’s people should have in the English translations of Scripture. Or...we can gloss over important textual variants and confuse believers as to what to do with them." - C.Leaders

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Why Aren’t Pastors Teaching About Social Media?

"Social media is a wonderful thing – IF you have the knowledge and skills to control it. Say what you like, but most people don’t have those skills and we’re seeing the deterioration happening in our culture every day." - Cooke

See also... The Resistance: Only Parents Can Challenge the Digital Empire

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