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Refreshing Questions

In the New Testament, Christ’s presence is compelling partly because of his curiosity. With his disciples, strangers, Pharisees, and dinner companions alike, Jesus’s first tools in conversation seems to be questions. In showing us what it means to be fully alive, Jesus shows us the importance of remaining generous with our curiosity and our questions. […]

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Wesley’s Advice to Preachers

Wesley’s Advice to Preachers John Wesley was a trainer of preachers in many ways. His mobilization of new preachers, and his ongoing guidance of them through books and tracts, helped to cement the spirit of the early methodist movement. These preachers when they were just beginning their ministries were called “helpers” and at one point […]

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Clarify Your Sermons in Three Sentences

“What was that all about?” That is the question we hope one spouse does not ask another on the way home from church. Unfortunately, it is more common than we might think. Sometimes entire discipleship programs are built around helping people try to discern together what the sermon was all about. I listen to a […]

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5 Tips for Overcoming Sermon Block

Whenever we create something, we are faced with the need to overcome resistance. Preachers face two kinds of creative resistance. Sometimes that resistance is from outside (like emails from parishioners who have mixed feelings about the sermon); but sometimes that resistance is from inside (like procrastination, fear of rejection, avoiding confronting our own sin that […]

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Roundtable: Preaching, the Gospel, and Young Adults

  Better understanding young adults requires us to listen to them–and to those who serve, pray with, and listen for God’s voice with them. The Wesleyan Church has consistently demonstrated an emphasis on the importance of young adult clergy and laity. Every member of this roundtable is a young adult who also leads others (including […]

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Preaching Pastorally in Times of Crisis

Karl Barth, the famous 20th century theologian, preached two very different sermons during times of crisis. When he was young, inexperienced, and his theology was not yet fully formed he preached a sermon on the sinking of the Titanic the Sunday after it occurred. You can imagine what a shock to the Western world the […]

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10 Best Practices for Video Sermons

In just a few weeks we moved from “many pastors” trying to find a way to extend their sermons life through video to “almost all pastors” trying to learn how to preach better by video. Unfortunately, not all were anywhere close to prepared for this necessary shift to technological delivery. Some churches are so woefully […]

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Can a Video Really Be Called a Sermon?

  Pastors in developed countries around the world are forced into something they have only rarely attempted: preaching to an audience they cannot see. The covid-19 crisis has forced the same pastors who five years ago were writing about the theological substandard nature of streaming sermons to do just what they condemn, stream sermons. For […]

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Preaching as Listening – Part 4 – Listening to Self

“I hope these are God’s words, not only mine.” “May you hear God speaking directly to you today, through me or in spite of me.” “May they remember the things I said that are from You, God, and allow the rest to fall away.” If you’ve heard things like this from a pastor at your […]

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Preaching as Listening – Part 3 – Listening to Imagination

Part III: Listening to Imagination The Spirit’s work in preaching is always rooted in Scripture; and yet every sermon is an imaginative act. At their best, sermons help the congregation experience God’s presence through a fresh encounter with Christ who is the Word of God. That requires engaging the Scripture as a treasure trove of […]