King David had committed the most horrendous sin. He’d taken and violated Bathsheba. He’d then had her husband murdered under the cover of battle. His sin will have been an open secret. Even as he sought desperately to cover it up, he drew others into his sin. Why didn’t they speak up? I suspect fear… Continue reading Wanted: A few Prophet Nathans
I preached my first sermon when I was 19, I preached for a few years in our small Brethren Gospel Hall in Bradford and a couple of other local churches including a struggling AOG church which I helped out with getting my first experience of revitalisation/replanting. The elder there wanted to try and use some… Continue reading On younger pastors and preachers
This is an expansion of some quick thoughts I shared on Facebook last night in response to some of the criticisms I’ve seen of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s sermon. I write both as someone who has given my fair share of feedback and criticism over the years, and as someone who has received plenty of… Continue reading What did you come out to see?
Before the funeral, there was a lot of talk about the fact that 4 billion people would be listening in and the responsibility therefore on the shoulders of the Archbishop of Canterbury to “hot it out of the court” and “smash it” by giving people the Gospel, full barrels. I must admit that I’m a… Continue reading Did the Archbishop preach the Gospel?
Last week, I shared some blog articles on the Song of Songs talking about whether and how we could/should apply it to Christ and the church. You’ll notice that whilst I’ve been writing that the Song is meant to be about Christ, that I’ve been careful to distinguish things like prophecy, metaphor and typology from… Continue reading How not to apply Song of Songs (or any part of the Bible) to Jesus
Here are my notes from a sermon preached at Bearwood Chapel, Smethwick. Introduction We recently spent an evening at the Commonwealth Games athletics. One standout moment was the 3k women’s Steeplechase. As the frontrunners competed for medal positions, one poor lonely athlete was well back from everyone else and struggling. I wonder what was going… Continue reading Press on with the Gospel – Regardless (Acts 21:1-25)
I recently saw this little quote on Twitter. I think the general sentiment is true for preachers in that a bigger point is being made. We need to ensure that the voices heard and examples used in church are not limited to narrow group of people within the church. Do we use illustrations about women? … Continue reading Why I don’t like using quotes in sermons
We’re about to hit the English summer school holidays and up and down the country, churches will be rediscovering the Psalms – or at least the people who are around and in church will be. There’s a tendency to expect attendance to drop as people head off on holiday, ministers themselves take a break and… Continue reading Don’t hide the Psalms in the summer holidays
Yesterday, I mentioned this article which has provoked the latest cycle of sermon length controversy. Now, as I said yesterday, a sermon takes as long as it takes. Some of us might actually need to give a bit longer to our sermons and some of us probably could do with shaving 10 minutes off! However,… Continue reading Don’t write your sermon too soon
Every so often a little controversy will brew over how long exactly a sermon should last. This seems generally seeking to split between three precise and seemingly arbitrary times, 10 minutes, 20 minutes and 30 40 minutes (nothing under 10, over 40 or anything in between the options). The latest controversy seems to have been… Continue reading Time for God? – Thoughts on sermon length