Ten Steps to Preach from Your iPad (Challies)

I confess, I preach from a Samsung Galaxy Tab, so I may be jumping fences here in sending this article forward, but Tim Challies has some excellent tips on preaching from an iPad

I started preaching from my Galaxy Tab about six months ago and truly love it.  It’s environmentally sound (because I don’t have to print off my sermon on paper, using precious wood and ink unnecessarily), and I don’t have to worry about misplacing my notes—they are all there.

Just heed the tips Mr. Challies gives!  Hint: You don’t want your SportsCenter app to go off in the middle of your sermon.  You can find out how the Bengals did after the service. 

I’d love your thoughts on the matter.

John Calvin as Preacher? 10 Characteristics of His Preaching

Steve Lawson gives ten characteristics of Calvin’s preaching that we expositors would do well to emulate.  You can read more about this in his book John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology .

Make Them See Christ Crucified

“Let those who would discharge aright the ministry of the gospel learn, not merely to speak and declaim, but to penetrate into the consciences of men, to make them see Christ crucified, and feel the shedding of his blood.  When the Church has painters such as these, she no longer needs the dead images of wood and stone, she no longer requires pictures; both of which, unquestionably, were first admitted to Christian temples when the pastors had become dumb and been converted into mere idols, or when they uttered a few words from the pulpit in such a cold and careless manner, that the power and efficacy of the ministry were utterly extinguished.”

–John Calvin, Commentary on Galatians, p. 81.

D.A. Carson on Preaching from Various Parts of Scripture

D.A. Carson is one of my favorite scholars.  His commitment to Biblical authority and his helpfulness in preaching the Scriptures rightly has been something from which I’ve benefited for years. 

Below are lectures he gave in regards to preaching from the gospels and the apocalyptic literature in Scripture.  (HT:  Monergism)

Preaching the Gospels 1 (MP3)

Preaching the Gospels 2 (MP3)

Preaching the Gospels 3 (MP3)

Preaching Apocalyptic 1 (MP3)

Preaching Apocalyptic 2 (MP3)

Discussion (MP3)

My Preaching Blog Back in Operation as Exposition Avenue

After an almost six month hiatus, delving in almost exclusively to my Gospel Gripped blog, I am now back to posting periodically at this blog, now retooled and been renamed:  Exposition Avenue.

Why Exposition Avenue?2012-06-19 13.13.28

Exposition Ave. is the name of a street here in Denver.  I would pass it frequently, and I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great if our churches travelled on this road; not literally, but in practice?  Wouldn’t it be great if not just our preaching, but every part of our church life here at Arapahoe Road Baptist Church was an exposition of the teaching of Scripture?” 

My passion for expositional preaching stems from a personal journey that has included a life of ‘impositional living’—that is, me imposing my own interpretation and my own ‘reading’ upon the Scripture.  There is no room for this!  We expose the true meaning, context, and application directly from Scripture by the means of the Holy Spirit so as to expose the idols of our lives, have them toppled, so the Spirit would reign full and free.

Stay Connected with Us

Feel free to not only subscribe to this blog via e-mail or by RSS, as well as going to our Twitter feed.  All of this information is on our blog.  These social media avenues will help all of us to be sharpened, challenged, and encouraged as the Word by the Spirit is the central focus of our churches and lives. 

Thanks for being a part of my outlet as a Christian, husband, father, pastor, and preacher of the Gospel.  I can’t wait to see what God does with us!

“If You Haven’t Preached an Hour, You Haven’t Preached”

On a previous trip to Trinidad, I was asked to preach for their morning worship service. I remember asking Pastor Roddie Taylor how long I should preach. I told him that in the States, most wanted the sermon finished in 20-30 minutes, but I usually went some over. I’ll never forget what he said:

“Matthew Perry, in Trinidad, if you haven’t preached an hour, you haven’t preached.”

OK, then! Interesting regarding how various cultures view this. I remember hearing Mark Dever speak of a time he went to preach in South Africa in the late 1990s or early 2000s. He preached for an hour, and respecting the time, concluded. One of the leaders of the church stood up and said, “We sense you have more to say on the matter–could you please continue.” And he did for another hour. Dever observed that South Africa had only had television since 1980 and noted that their attention span was considerably longer than he was used to as a pastor in Washington, D.C.

People vary on this topic. But my thought is this: we do not have many opportunities to get before the Word during the week. If your wheelhouse is 20 minute sermons, will spending another 15-20 minutes under the Word really put a dent into our seemingly busy lives? Many churches in the States are flourishing with pastors who faithfully deliver the Word for an hour. They have time to set the table, put out a feast, then help digest.

Isn’t it worth the time? What think ye?

Rob Ventura on the Ministry of the Holy Spirit in Preaching

Reformation 21 has posted an excellent article on “The Holy Spirit, His Ministry, and the Preacher of God” that I pray you find valuable.  Here’s an excerpt:

Preachers of the Word of God who would be the most useful laborers for our Lord and His church need to prepare themselves for their calling as Christian ministers. Typically, if they would be the most effective preachers of the Bible, they should have a good working knowledge of the original languages, Hebrew and Greek. In addition, they should be well versed in all of the various theological disciplines, such as exegetical theology, historical theology, systematic theology, biblical theology, practical and pastoral theology. Along with these prerequisites, they should also be men who have acquired for themselves sufficient tools for the task of preaching, such as an adequate library and various bible study tools.

Now, while all of these things are vitally important for the minister to be all that God would have him to be, none of them compares to the preacher’s great need of having the Holy Spirit and His ministry resting upon him and all of his pulpit labors. Now this axiom is so basic that one might consider an entire editorial on the subject unnecessary. However, the longer I am in the ministry, the more I am amazed at how often I forget it. In fact, I’m caused to wonder why so little is spoken about this subject in our day. Brothers, with C. H. Spurgeon, in his classic work Lectures to My Students, I trust we all can say personally, "I believe in the Holy Ghost." However, I wonder how many of us can say of a truth, "I need the Holy Ghost!"

Read the rest of the article here

Our Ears Still Itch: Beware of Pandering to Your Congregation

Trevin Wax of LifeWay Resources, blogs at Kingdom People, and wrote an article in Christianity Today titled “Our Ears Still Itch” (March 2008).  He begins with the verse from 2 Timothy 4:3-4:

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (2 Tim. 4:3-4)

Then he goes on to mention areas most of us would agree with being categorized in the “tickling itching ears” category.  Then he goes on.  Read and heed, dear friends.

The prophet Jeremiah tells us the human heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. We think that if we attend a church where the pastor consistently preaches hard messages with hard truths, we will never succumb to the "itching ears" syndrome. But such is not the case. Paul tells Timothy that itching ears accumulate for themselves teachers who will tell them what they want to hear. Itching ears desire teaching that suits their own passions.

Many laypeople hope to listen to a preacher who every week will tell them what’s wrong — with everybody else.

The congregation of teetotalers wants a pastor who, week after week, condemns alcohol from the pulpit.

The anti-war congregation hopes to hear a rousing sermon against those warmongering conservatives.

The congregation of staunch Republicans smiles as their pastor rails against "the gays" and "the liberals."

The Calvinist congregation wants to hear a theologian/pastor who will preach against the errors of those Arminians.

The congregation of door-to-door soul-winners hires a pastor who will mock the namby-pamby "lifestyle" conversations that pass for evangelism in this day.

The charismatic congregation loves when its pastor tears into the dry, ritualistic worship of their liturgical neighbors.

And the liturgical congregation nods approvingly at critiques of their neighbors who manufacture emotionalism.

Can you hear the hearty "Amens" coming from the pews? Yes, Lord! Thank you for showing us what real Christianity is! Lord, help us not be like those Christians who are too blinded by their biases, who have been co-opted by the culture!

Of course, there are times when a pastor should address the issues above. Church members should expect pastors to preach boldly, to condemn sin, to faithfully exposit the biblical text, and to speak to the current issues of the day.

But let us not underestimate the evil intentions of the human heart. We crave a message that puffs us up. We read Jesus’ parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector and rightly condemn the Pharisee for his pompous prayer, "God, I thank you that I am not like other people — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector." Then we thank God that we’re not like the Pharisee.

Ironically, the very message that is supposed to cut us low, the message of the Cross, can be delivered in such a way that people walk out of the sanctuary patting themselves on the back. Thank God I’m not like those people!

Somewhere in the darkest places of our hearts, we take joy in preachers who put us on a pedestal, who remind us who all the bad guys are, and who assure us that we’re okay. We sing and read and preach about grace, but too often, our talk about grace is simply another method of preserving our self-righteousness.

The preaching we listen to on Sundays may be truth-filled and Bible-centered, but if it only points out the problems of everyone else in the world, it misses its target. Our ears are tickled, but our hearts are unchanged. Ear-tickling preaching may step on toes, but they’re never the toes of the people in the pews or the pastor in the pulpit.

Next time, your pastor preaches a challenging message that convicts you of sin, say "Amen." If your church is not of the Amen-shouting variety, meet your pastor at the door and offer a word of encouragement. Allow the Sword of God’s Word to perform surgery on our own hearts before wielding the Sword in the faces of everyone else.

What are your thoughts on this?  Do we find ourselves carving out in our minds things we love to hear, and disparage other issues brought up that we don’t think are important?

Overcoming the Apathy of the Pew Toward Preaching

45230_1554814838873_1490255389_3152421_2114971_nOur calling as preachers is to proclaim the Bible, plain and simple.  We must also deliver God’s Word in an engaging and authentic manner.  My conviction is that the Spirit of God and the Word of God come together in the heart and mind of the preacher to produce substantive and compelling sermons that transform the lives of the listeners.  A preacher’s head and heart must meet together in the Holy Spirit to produce powerful preaching that informs the mind, inflames the heart, moves the will, and transforms the life.  The Word of God is the substance of our message.  It is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12).  The Spirit of God is the fire of our message.  He ignites us as we prepare it and deliver it, and he ignites our listeners as they hear it.

One way to overcome the apathy of the pew toward preaching is for preachers to return to the days of Jeremiah, when the Word of God was so powerfully shut up in his bones like fire that he couldn’t hold it in (Jer. 20:9)!  Come to the pulpit so full of the Word of God and so full of the Spirit of God—unable to hold it in—and you will find that your people cannot wait to take it in!  Moody said, “Catch on fire for Jesus, and the world will come to watch you burn.”

— Greg Heisler, Spirit-Led Preaching (Broadman & Holman, 2007), p. 9-10. 

What Questions To Ask a Potential Church

Colin Adams at Unashamed Workman (a top flight blog for preachers) gives pastors who are considering a potential church a list of questions to ask (41 in all). 

Before being called to pastor Ballymoney Baptist Church, I inevitably faced a raft of questions from its eldership. Beforehand, however, I also asked the elders some questions of my own. Since mentioning this in a prior post, I’ve been emailed several times to forward a copy of those questions to pastor’s in the same situation. Here then is a slightly ammended list of the questions I asked.

He breaks them down into theological, ministry-philosophy, and personal questions.   Very useful!