Preachers are nothing

“Success always comes from God, and from God alone. This is true both for pioneer missionaries and for preachers and teachers in local congregations: only God gives growth (1 Cor 3: 6-7) The effectiveness of missionary work and the effectiveness of pastoral ministry depend neither on individual persons and their gifts nor on programs or rhetorical techniques, but on God’s agency. Preachers are nothing (1 Cor 3: 7). The nature of the ministry of the gospel prohibits deference to and exclusivistic respect for individual preachers and teachers, as they are all instruments of God on whose work all “success” depends.” … Continue reading Preachers are nothing

Preaching to Be Understood Not to Impress

“There is my friend the Rev. So-and-so, Doctor of Divinity; he is a great student, and whenever he finds a hard word in his books he tells it next Sunday to his congregation. He has a little intellectual circle, who think his preaching must be good, because they cannot understand it, and who think it proven that he must be an intelligent man because all the pews are empty. They believe he must be a very useful member of society; in fact, they compare him to Luther, and think he is a second Paul, because nobody will listen to him, … Continue reading Preaching to Be Understood Not to Impress

On preaching without notes

God uses all different kinds of preachers. I, however, have been thinking lately about learning to preach more effectively without notes. That doesn’t mean I am doing it. It just means I am thinking about it! I don’t actually have a lot of good models for this,but that is not to say looking back at church history that those models aren’t out there. There are!  Recently I have been reading J.W. Alexander’s book, entitled Thoughts on Preaching. He was the son of Archibald Alexander, a pastor and at times a professor.  Of J.W. Alexander, Charles Hodge once said, “No minister … Continue reading On preaching without notes

Experimental Preaching

We are familiar with the term expository preaching.  Not as many of us are familiar with the phrase experimental preaching, however. I remember mentioning this idea to a pastor not too long ago and he looked back at me as if I were from a different planet.  He wasn’t comfortable with the idea at all.   A short while ago our team worked through an excellent book by Joel Beeke entitled Living for God’s Glory. And one of the many chapters focuses on what he calls experimental or experiential preaching.  I thought it might be helpful to share a short … Continue reading Experimental Preaching