Posted 4/17/14 at 10:52 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
(This is for pastors on the subject of sermon preparation.)
The most vulnerable time for any sermon is in the couple of days prior to its delivery.
At those times, the pastor does not need to be getting criticism or additional input from helpers (like myself!) or further ideas from deep study. This is when he needs to be putting the finishing touches on his message and getting it ready for delivery.
The first part of the week….
Early in the week–unless the pastor is such a rarity that almost none of this applies to him–he should have nailed down his subject and text for Sunday’s sermon. He should know the “one big idea” the Lord wants communicated. And he should have a general idea where he’s going with this sermon. FULL POST
Posted 4/16/14 at 5:19 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By David Murray
Nothing is more important for the long-term health of a Church than its preaching, and nothing more impacts preaching than a preacher’s view of the Bible.
1. The Bible is the Word of God
If we don’t believe that the Bible is the Word of God, we will put human opinion and our own ideas on the same level as the Bible.
If we believe the Bible is the Word of God, we will treat it with reverence and respect. We will not dare to treat any other book or any human opinion on the same level.
2. The Bible is Inspired by God
If we don’t believe that every word of Scripture was inspired by God, we will not spend much time looking at the individual words in the Bible. We’ll tend to skim over the surface paying little attention to the details of the biblical text. FULL POST
Posted 4/16/14 at 11:43 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
“And Moses said, ‘Who me, Lord? I’ve not been to seminary. I didn’t even finish college. The other preachers won’t respect me. Pulpit committees won’t have anything to do with me. There’s a bounty on me back in Egypt. I stutter a lot, and tend to freeze up in front of groups. You’ve clearly dialed a wrong number, Lord.”
“And God said, ‘Shut up and listen.’” (My rather free version of Exodus 3-4.)
“The Lord can’t use a nothing nobody like me.”
Ever heard that? Ever said it?
Repent, sinner. You underestimate God! (And you might be overestimating your own importance in the equation.) FULL POST
Posted 4/15/14 at 11:11 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
“God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for HIm to be held in its power” (Acts 2:24).
It’s Easter, preacher. What are you preaching?
Don’t preach about Springtime, as much as we all love it. This is not the day for that.
Don’t make the analogy about how Easter eggs speak to us about new birth and all that foolishness.
Stay on track.
You have the greatest message on the planet; try not to weaken it with trivialities.
Tell your people–and all those whom the Holy Spirit will send this Sunday, not yet “your people,” but potentially so–that death could not hold Jesus Christ, that He is risen from the dead, and what that means to them. (Never forget that every sermon has two parts: What? and So what? The “what” is the message of Easter; the “so what” is the application.) FULL POST
Posted 4/14/14 at 5:14 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Wade Burleson
The root word for relationship is 'relate' which means "to narrate." Pause and think about that for a moment.
I can almost guarantee you that you have never considered the basis for any relationship to be narration or "story." Yet every relationship you have is built on narrative; your story and another person's story. I'll go even further down this road. The measure of your love for another person is seen by your interest in their story. Disconnected people are self-absorbed people. Connected people are more interested in another person's story than they are their own.
Rob Bell says, "It’s easy to take off your clothes and have sex. People do it all the time. But opening up your soul to someone (i.e. narrating your story), letting them into your spirit, thoughts, fears, future, hopes, dreams… that is being naked.” Rob Bell is right, but I propose that in our culture of selfies, self absorption, and self-adulation there is a greater shortage of people who accept another person's narrative without demanding acceptance of their own. FULL POST
Posted 4/14/14 at 12:04 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By David Murray
Is it right to speak of ourselves as creators? Isn’t God alone the creator of all things.
There are certainly some unique characteristics of our Creator and His creativity that we cannot copy; we can only admire and worship. There is one Hebrew word for creating (bara) that is used of God alone. However, there are two other words (asa and yatsar) that are used both of God’s creating and of ours. So, although in some ways we cannot create like God, in other ways we can.
In a few weeks I’ll return to this subject and suggest various ways that we can all create like God in our own little corner of the creation. But let’s finish this introduction to a Christian view of creativity by looking at what is unique and different about God’s creativity. FULL POST
Posted 4/14/14 at 11:38 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
Here are twelve things we church leaders do on Easter Sunday that undermine our own effectiveness in reaching people for the Lord Jesus….
1) We fuss at those who come.
“Well, good morning! We would like to welcome those of you we’ve not seen since Christmas! Hope you had a good winter!”
2) We put on a “dog and pony show” instead of preaching the gospel.
Never forget that what we use to attract people to our church will be required to keep them. So, if we put on a spectacular to get people in but follow it with our normal run-of-the-mill uninspired preaching/singing/etc., we are doing no one any good.
For reasons I don’t quite understand, some churches will forego the usual service on Easter Sunday and give the choir the entire hour for their program. This is the day to open Scripture and read it (thoughtfully, reverently!) and preach its message. FULL POST
Posted 4/11/14 at 11:28 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By Phillip Jensen
The fear of words is rational because words are powerful. But censorship is generally the response of irrational fear by powerful people.
The powerful person who is fearful is the person most to be feared. Out of fear they attack any perceived threat, as they use their power to protect themselves. They fear others and do not understand how powerful they are, or how other people perceive their power or how they are misusing their power in self-interest. Sadly, even Christians have misused power for self-protection.
Censorship is one of the tools of powerful people or groups. History is replete with tyranny-censoring criticism, for censorship is the tool of fear: fear of ideas; fear of truth; fear of words.
There is some protection that is right and needed. False witness and perjury cannot be tolerated or justice will be undermined. Slander and libel should come at a cost, for they cost the victim. Publishing somebody’s private information is a form of theft. Individuals, businesses, Governments, groups and families need some privacy to speak amongst themselves without fear of their words and ideas being reported to others. It was Hezekiah’s folly to show his wealth to the Babylonians (2 Kings 20:12ff). FULL POST
Posted 4/11/14 at 9:47 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By: eHarmony Advice
The primary purpose of attending church isn’t to pick up the cute parishioner in the next pew. That said, church is a place where you’re most likely to find someone who is spiritually compatible with you.
Here are ten fun — and cheesy — pickup lines to use in the church lobby:
1. The classic: “Nice Bible.”
2. The challenge: “Doesn’t the Bible say to ‘greet one another with a holy kiss’?” FULL POST
Posted 4/11/14 at 9:41 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By Joe McKeever
“But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of those who sleep….” (I Corinthians 15:20).
Even those who have served God all their lives need reminding of the importance of the resurrection of Jesus sometimes. Those new to the faith enjoy learning the full dimensions of the new life they have received in Christ.
Here are an even dozen aspects of the resurrection of Jesus that instruct our minds, inspire our hearts, and inform us all….
1) No one expected Jesus to rise from the dead.
Jesus’ resurrection was as much a shock to the disciples as His death had been. Thomas, known forever as the doubter, was merely voicing what most of them felt when he declared he would not believe in the risen Lord until He had done his own thorough investigation. (See John 20.) FULL POST