The 614th Commandment: A Sermon by Jason Micheli

The 614th Commandment      “I ask you, then, has God rejected his People?” That’s Paul’s first question immediately following today’s long, thick passage: ‘Has God rejected the Jews?’      (Because they reject God in Christ?) You shouldn’t answer too hastily. A couple of years ago, Ali and I were traveling in Southern France, and one [Read More...]

Confessions of a Local Pastor (by Josh Ross)

Confessions from a Local Pastor There’s something addictive about a stage and a microphone and the status that often comes with it. It is a gift from God, but power and authority can easily be abused. So, maybe it’s time for a little confession from a pastor. As much as I love what I do, [Read More...]

Pulpit Integrity

Sarah Pulliam Bailey, with Greg Horton: (RNS) Thou shalt not steal another pastor’s sermon? Recent cases of high-profile pastors who have been accused of lifting others’ material are raising questions about whether pulpit plagiarism is on the rise — and whether it has become a more forgivable sin…. Sermons can be ephemeral things, in one [Read More...]

Failing as a Pastor

Some of you may remember when J.R. Briggs decided, a bit on a lark, to host a conference called “Epic Fail.” Well, it spun out of control quite successfully.  J.R. Briggs has a new book called Fail: Finding Hope and Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure. It’s a good book, and I know of no [Read More...]

Jesus, the Radical Reader

From John Frye, Jesus the Radical Exegete Good, proper biblical exegesis is a key task to be learned in seminary. With the caveat that exegesis is both a skill and an art, most schools want to train students to rightly divide the Word of truth. My seminary years are far behind me and Jesus is teaching [Read More...]

Competition among Churches

There are at least two signs of competition among churches, or should I say among pastors. The first is the act of wondering how big or how many are attending another church and the second is the inner disturbance of wanting to win (in the game of numbers). The single-most important sign of non-competition between churches or [Read More...]

5 Illustrations that Need to End

Sammy Rhodes: What would you add? (Starfish?) Illustrations are tricky. Charles Spurgeon said illustrations are like windows in a house. Too many and you’re left with no substance. Too few and you’re left with no light. If you’ve been around church for very long, you’ve probably heard a lot of them, some more than once. [Read More...]

Preaching Better — Practice and Exercises

Those of us who get to preach have probably taken some classes on preaching, and read some books, and some of us have attended preaching conferences where we can talk to other preachers and hone the art. I have preacher friends who go over one another’s sermons as a group and others who prepare sermons [Read More...]

How to Keep Your Preaching Fresh

From my friend Allan Bevere: I taught a Doctor of Ministry intensive last week on leadership in the 21st century at Ashland Theological Seminary. I had ten thoughtful students. One of them asked me on break, “How do you keep your preaching fresh year after year after serving thirty years in ministry?” I spent a little time [Read More...]

Phillip Jensen on Teaching what?

And I totally agree: A simple test of a good teacher is to ask what they teach.  If their answer is Maths, English, Science, History or Geography, they probably don’t understand their role. If they say students, pupils, young people, or adults, there is a possibility that they know their trade. Of course, such a [Read More...]


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