Tag Archives: preaching

Rebooting

I went through a podcast phase about three years ago. I subscribed to anything that seemed interesting. What followed was information overload. I could not keep up, so recently I began the “great podcast purge.” The podcasts that survived fall into two categories: they are short, as in seven minutes or less; or they are the work of storytellers.

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Without Vision, Ministry Perishes (Part 2)

Where there is no prophecy, the people cast off restraint. (Prov. 29:18, NRSV) — When I was teaching one of my favorite poems was Taylor Mali’s “What Teachers Make.” The final line (very edited) states, “Here, let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true: Teachers make…

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Preaching in the Age of PowerPoint

Once upon a time before PowerPoint, sermons were rarely preached with visuals. In those dark ages one had to rely on hand-drawn graphics, chalkboards, dry-erase markers, overhead projectors and the mysterious flannel-graph. (Science still cannot explain how those paper cut-outs stick to the flannel.) But now, our investment in technology has made it…

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Is There Power in the Pulpit?

The very first piece of criticism I received when I began to emerge as a preacher, while a student at Lipscomb University, came from one of my peers: “Women preachers just seem power-hungry to me.” The comment seemed so strange to me at the time, but over and over again I’ve continued to…

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Boxing Day Sermon

The humblest day of the year has to be Dec. 26. At least Dec. 24 gets to be Christmas Eve. All the other dates between Thanksgiving and Christmas are the “Holiday Season.” There’s great anticipation and much preparation in those days. The spirit of Christmas is there; but Dec. 26 is different. Some…

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Going to Church on Christmas

Pope Julius I was not a forward thinking leader.  Instead of fixing Christmas on the 25th of December, he could have set the date of Christmas on the last Thursday of the month.  That’s what Abraham Lincoln did with Thanksgiving, and it is so much easier to schedule worship services and office closings…

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Leaving the Museum: Daring to Preach in Present Tense

Once when I was in college, sitting in one of my Bible classes at Lipscomb University, I wandered into a peculiarly vivid daydream. Now, before I tell you about my daydream, I should probably issue an apology to any of my college professors who ever lost me to my daydreaming. The fault was…

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A Different Style of Prophetic Preaching

I have noticed a trend toward equating “prophetic preaching” with a confrontational, rough and tough style of delivery.  It is a little less than what was once called a “hellfire and brimstone” sermon.  Maybe it is closer to what was once called a “toe-stomping” sermon.  I have inquired about the fascination with such…

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Preaching Through Pain: A Contemporary Christian Conversation

What happens when the preacher struggles with their own faith? In this interview with Randy Harris, Mike Cope speaks of finding ways to minister to others from an authentic place even when your heart is broken. He shares, in a frank and honest way, experiences from his personal journey of faith that have offered both…

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