A Key Sign You are Maturing as a Preacher

As a seminary professor (and a pastor) I spend a lot of time helping students grow and develop as preachers. After hearing a student preach, I will often get coffee or lunch with that student and we will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the sermon and how it can be improved.

Over the years, I have learned to ask students a key question that can reveal a lot about how they are developing as a preacher.

“What did you leave out?”

Most of the time that I ask that question I am met with a blank stare. Students expect to be asked about the content of the sermon—i.e., what …

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The One Critical Thing Missing in Most Sermons

As I continue to do the rounds of podcasts and interviews for my new book, Surviving Religion 101, the same question keeps getting asked:

What can parents (and churches) do to help better prepare their kids for the intellectual challenges of college?

In a prior post, I mentioned this issue and offered one solution to that problem: “Parents and churches need to consider ways to introduce their children, at age-appropriate levels, to non-Christian philosophies, arguments, and criticisms, along with a proper Christian response.”

In other words, we need to break out of the

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Should You Preach from a Full Manuscript?

Just last week, I was asked the question again by seminary students. It comes up multiple times every year. And since I keep getting asked this question, I thought it would be worth addressing.

And that question is, “Should I preach from a full manuscript?”

By “full manuscript” they mean they write out their sermon exactly how they would preach it. Word for word.

Now, I am not eager to jump into the fray over preaching methodology.  When it comes to the question of how to preach, there is no shortage of books, articles, and blog posts offering advice and guidance. And once you start sifting through these materials, it …

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Moving Beyond One-Dimensional Sermon Applications

Let’s just get it out there. Preaching is hard.

In the midst of all the disputes over preaching, this fact remains undisputed.  Yes, preaching is wonderful and exhilarating.  But, it is also exhausting, frustrating, and difficult. Whether a person has preached one time, or a hundred times, they know this.

Why is that? What makes preaching so hard?

I would suggest that it has to do with the nature of preaching.  Preaching is not just delivering a message, passing along facts, or making a point (though it does include these things).  At its core, preaching is something that calls for a response in the listener.

Put differently, members of the …

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What is the Relationship Between Biblical Counseling and Preaching in the Local Church?

Here at RTS Charlotte, we are very excited about the recent arrival of Dr. Jim Newheiser, our new Associate Professor of Christian Counseling and Practical Theology, and the Director of the Counseling Program.

As many of you know, just a short time ago we launched a new Masters degree program in biblical counseling. This has been met with a great deal of enthusiasm and we believe it will meet a real need in the body of Christ.

Our program has assembled some of the finest faculty in biblical counseling today, as we have drawn upon leading figures all over the country.  Visiting professors have included David Powlison, …

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