Balancing Authority and Wisdom as a Guest Preacher

In my book, On Preaching, I recommended several best practices for guest preachers. I can summarize that chapter in one sentence: As a guest preacher, don’t make a mess for the pastor to clean up when you leave. I recently got a question about that chapter: I advocate clear, bold, and faithful preaching of the […]

I Will Not Offer the Lord What Costs Me Nothing

There are several Bible verses that drive my commitment to faithful preaching. They are 1 Timothy 4:16, 2 Timothy 2:15, and 2 Timothy 4:2. I regularly share these verses with young preachers, when I am asked for a passage of scripture to encourage them in the work. But there is another passage that reminds me […]

On Whooping

The first preacher to influence me was my father. He was more of an orator than a whooper. His preaching had a rhythm and cadence. But he, and most of his preaching colleagues, were not real whoopers. Then it happened. I heard whooping. Real whooping. At the conclusion of the sermon, the preacher turned his […]

Three Keys to Effective Sermon Preparation

“So what do you do for a living?” I have a new answer to that question: “I write sermons.” Occasionally, an alert listener will reply, “You only write sermons? Do you preach them?” Then I give the punchline. “Sure, I do. But it’s hard to remember that part. As soon as the sermon is over, […]

My New Book: “On Preaching”

I am excited about the release of my new book, On Preaching: Personal & Pastoral Insights for the Preparation & Practice of Preaching. (Moody Publishers. Official release date: May 1, 2014). This is my second book, the first being It Happens After Prayer. I wrote this book without knowing it. Desiring to grow in my preaching, […]

Building An Preacher’s Library

Every workman needs tools. It does not matter the nature of the work. He can be a carpenter that needs a hammer and nails. Or she can be a computer programmer that needs a laptop and software. The truth still applies whatever the task. No laborer can do his or her work without good tools. […]

On Sermon Outlines

Every sermon should have a destination. It also needs a clear path to get there. A sermon outline charts the path for the sermon to reach its intended destination. Good sermons have effective outlines. A sermon is more than an outline. But it is not less. The outline gives structure to the message. That structure […]

On Consecutive Exposition

“People have short attention spans. So you really do long series through books anymore. People will check out on you after four to six sermons.” This authoritative claim is simply not true. People are hungry for the word of God. Consecutive exposition both satisfies people’s hunger for scripture and shapes it. Expository preaching is an […]

On Sermon Conclusions

“So how was your flight?” When I am asked this question, I typically respond by saying it was a good flight. I speak positively about the flight for one reason. It landed. I may not like my assigned seat. There may have been no room for my bag in the overhead compartment. It may have […]