PreacherTalk

Blog Posts

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ENABLING GRACE OR RELIGIOUS MORALISM

“What is moralism and why is it wrong to preach moralism? Are we not supposed to call people to live morally?” One person raised these questions at a recent preaching cohort. Our sermons can degenerate into religious moralism if we fail to keep Christ and the cross in view as we preach on the demands of the Bible. Since God’s holy standards are clear, how can we avoid preaching moralism?

Read more...

SERMONS ROOTED IN LOCAL SOIL

“Pastor, I was here before you arrived, and I will be here long after you leave.” Such sentiments have been expressed in one form or another by church people over the years. The truth is, as pastors, we start in a local church as foreigners or aliens. We are from “away.” Ministry success in other contexts does not guarantee ministry success in the new context. We must learn the culture of the new community. Missiologists call it contextualization, and contextualization matters more than we realize in our preaching.

Read more...

WHAT’S A SERMON TO DO?

I went to the fair last week, a day filled with fried dough, horse pulling, and old tools. The farm museum displayed obsolete pieces of equipment culled from deteriorating barns and tagged to explain their purposes. The curator had tagged some items with the question, “What does this do?” The farm equipment had lost its purpose, and even the curator did not know what it was. Sermons, too, can become like old barns and rusty tools. Preaching loses its God-intended purpose when divorced from the God-inspired text. God breathed His Word through His writers to do something in our lives today (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Every sermon should do what God intended to do through the passage being explained.

Read more...

TURF WARS AND BATTLE SCARS

Where there are people there are power struggles. As a new pastor, I unknowingly waded into the middle of a scrum in one of my sermons. I was quickly informed, in no uncertain terms, whose turf I had infiltrated through my preaching. Every church has tribal chiefs who stake out their turf and expect to be consulted, at the very least, before anything happens in their areas of responsibility. Turf wars develop when the pastor or other leaders encroach on another’s turf. Even our sermons can threaten tribal chiefs.

Read more...

AVOIDING A SERMON RANT

The pastors sat on cinder blocks in a circle around me as we studied pastoral ministry in 2 Corinthians 2-7. “What are the frustrations you experience as pastors here in Panama?” I asked. It didn’t take long for the answers. “People who say they will do something but never do it,” one man said. “Christians who spend more time criticizing than serving,” said another. A third man chimed in, “I preach my heart out, but nobody seems to listen or care.” I looked around at these men as they shared. Some had traveled eight hours by bus to study God’s Word with me. I said to them, “These are all the same problems we face in our churches in America. People are people and pastoring people is no different in my country than in yours.”
 

Read more...