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Planning for a Year of Preaching

Here is an article I wrote for he FiveTwo Network on how I plan my sermon series:0617yearpreach

One of the difficult tasks a preacher has is to decide what should be the focus of a Sunday sermon. Traditionally this difficult decision is narrowed down through lectionary preaching, a predetermined cycle of assigned texts appointed for each Sunday of the year from which a Pastor can chose to preach.

However, I prefer to preach through sermon series, where the truth learned one week is built upon in the succeeding weeks. In order to accomplish this, I ask myself three driving questions, consider the balance needed through the year, and then make a concrete but flexible plan.

THREE DRIVING QUESTIONS

As I begin my planning, here are some of the big questions I ask:

  1. What has God been teaching me? One thing I’ve learned over recent years is that what God does for me He wants to do through me for others (2 Cor. 1:3-4). This goes for every follower of Jesus. If Jesus disciples you in some area of life, He desires that you disciple others in what you’ve learned. This is no different for a preacher. When we ask this question in preparing to preach, it can produce the most powerful sermons and series because we’re preaching a truth and grace that we’ve experienced and therefore one that is more easily touched, felt and seen through us.
  2. What do our people need? This question is all about applying the liberating truth of the Gospel. As pastors we need to know well the people God has placed under our care. We need to know the lies they are believing, promulgated through the media and pop culture – lies that subtly change how they view themselves and God. We need to know of our peoples’ brokenness, struggles, relationships, heartache, and doubts and then mine the word of God for the raw grace and truth that realign their worldview, heal their souls, reestablish their identity as God’s children, and empower them to live for Him.If your church is larger, poll the congregation regarding where they are confused about the faith, where they are struggling, or what they’ve always wanted to know. Ask these questions in the classes, boards, small groups, or missional communities you participate in. Ask leaders in your congregation these same questions concerning those under their care.
  3. Where do we need to go? This question is all about mission and vision. For me, mission and vision are always about Gospel-motivated and Spirit-empowered multiplication of disciples, discipleship groups, leaders, and churches. This theme should be touched upon at least monthly so that we never lose focus of the reason we exist, yet also be addressed more thoroughly in a yearly series…Read the rest of the article here
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Discipleship and Dialogical Preaching

Here’s an article I wrote for the Five Two Network on the new way I’ve been preaching using questions and dialogue to help disciple our people:
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I love preaching. I love talking about Jesus. I love digging up the truths of a certain text and laying it before the people, so that they might marvel at God and his goodness. I love holding the congregation’s attention, and drawing them into the Law and Gospel through a well-crafted message.

However, since we started a worship gathering for our church plant nearly a year and a half ago, my preaching has changed. I preach dialogically now because I believe it’s the best way for a sermon to contribute to the church’s task of making disciples.

While not a new concept, many haven’t heard of dialogical preaching before. Those who are familiar with the term probably have one of a half-dozen preaching techniques or supplements, used within or outside of the sermon time, that often claim the title, “dialogical.” So let me explain to you what I mean when I talk about this preaching method. I’m talking about asking a series of powerful questions interspersed throughout the message and allowing the congregation to answer them, and even ask their own questions, if they arise, during the sermon time.

The Process of Dialogical Preaching

My sermons are now incredibly simple. They consist of asking five questions* about the text or texts of the day to discover the central truths that will foster repentance, faith, and transformation in the hearer’s life.

These are the five questions:

Read More here…

Keller on The Gospel, Moralism, and Irreligion

Check out this short video from Tim Keller on three ways to view the world.  The Christian message is often rejected because it is either viewed as moralism or is presented as such.  The Gospel is really the only thing that frees us and gives us hope.

Keller & Clowney: Preaching Christ in a Post-Modern World


I love sharing God’s word through preaching.  Since I’m moving to preaching every week, as we launch The Exchange Community in Jackson, Mo, I thought It would be good to reexamine my preaching and how I interpret and display God’s word.  I remembered a friend of mine shared, a number of years back, that Tim Killer and Edmond Clowney team taught a class at Reformed Theological Seminary on Preaching Christ in a Post-Modern World.  As I started to listen through these teachings, I desired to share them with other church planters, preachers, and pastors that may not be aware of their existence.  Even if you don’t fit in these categories, this is an excellent resource to understand and share scripture.

Free Resources:

Audio from itunes

Course Material in PDF These notes were extremely difficult to find.  I believe they are notes from this course as it was later modified.  They do not seem to match all of the titles found on iTunes, but do seem to follow what is referenced in the class.

Blog posts covering notes from each session in the class:

  1. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Introduction to the Christ Centred Model of Preaching
  2. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ through the Structure of Redemptive History Part One
  3. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ in through the Structure of Redemptive History Part Two
  4. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Applying Christ: Introduction to Christ-centred Application
  5. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Applying Christ: Getting to Christ
  6. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ in through the Structure of Redemptive History Part Three
  7. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ: Telling God’s Story, Narrative Analysis
  8. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Applying Christ: Getting Down to Earth Part One
  9. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Applying Christ: Getting Down to Earth Part Two
  10. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ: The Parable of the Prodigal Son
  11. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ: Christ and the Law
  12. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Applying Christ: Getting inside their world part one
  13. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Adoring Christ: Getting Inside their World Part Two
  14. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ in the Psalms
  15. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ in the Wisdom Literature
  16. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Adoring Christ: Spiritual Reality
  17. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ:Asking Questions, Discourse Analysis
  18. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Adoring Christ: Communion with God

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