Lord Where Are You? – Honoring the Question

10526025_10152470364916999_5127269588465554520_nLord, why do you allow bad things to happen? Lord, why is pain allowed to run rampant. Lord, what is going on? And, Lord, where are you?

Such questions come to our mind as we struggle with the realities of living in our present world. They are real questions, they are substantial questions. But sometimes when we ask such questions, “the pious among us question and attack us. You are on the road to hell brother,” One might say. Or another may say. “Just trust the Lord and it will all be all right.”
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How to Use Another Person’s Sermon

Green recycling bin isolated on whiteOk. You have less than a day. You have waited until it is very late. At this point you have a few options and none of them are good.
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Are You Serving Slop In the Pulpit?

I was talking to a fellow preacher the other day about the difficulties and challenges of preaching sermons that both touch the people as well as sits under the smile of God. We talked about the inclination today to resort to tactics and tricks to manufacture a connection to the congregation that is neither real nor helpful.

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Bringing Worlds Together in the Sermon


At the end of one of my sermons, someone told me that the sermon eliminated the distance between the Bible world and today’s world. When this happens, you have done your job in a very real way. To do this, the preacher must help the people to understand and experience the Bible world. And to push it a little further, the people must understand and experience the implications of the Bible world in today’s world.

The Lecture Trap

If the people are to know and experience the Bible world in today’s world, then they must first of all know the Bible world. It is our job as preachers to give people enough knowledge of the Bible world so that they can understand it. This is more difficult job today than in the past. In the past, we could assume that people knew the great stories of the Bible. They knew who Moses was. They knew who Adam Was. They knew about the great fish that ate Jonah. They knew about the Valley of Dry Bones. They knew about John the Baptist. In short, they knew a lot of these stories that provided a backdrop for our preaching.

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Where Are You Now?

soulpreach2We are always looking somewhere else. We are always pushing to go somewhere else. Life seems to be about planning for some event in the future. It might be graduation, wedding, anniversary, reunion, and yes even retirement. We look forward to the day we will be debt free or the day our kids move out the house or the day our kids come to visit or the day everybody gets in the same house for a holiday.

We look forward to going home after work and to some t show that has us hooked on a cliffhanger. We are always looking forward, always pushing forward. We always want more, to be more, to see more. pushing, longing, wanting for more or at least wanting something different than what we have now.
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The Role Of Humanity In Preaching

© Michael Brown - Fotolia.com

© Michael Brown – Fotolia.com

Some believe that preaching is where the preacher goes off to talk to God with Bible in hand. Then God gives a message to the preacher. Then the preacher comes to the people without altering that message. Touching or changing the Word that came from On High would be tantamount to lying about what God said.

I am certainly mindful and hesitant to use the terminology of “God said.” Or in more common vernacular, “God told me to tell ya.” Such language can be difficult and problematic when we are not even sure that God necessarily desires what we are about to say.
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Soul Preaching Podcast – An Old West Theology

© Oleg Znamenskiy - Fotolia.com

© Oleg Znamenskiy – Fotolia.com

Are you Preaching an old west mythology or are you preaching in the real world? Listen to this Audio where Sherman Haywood Cox II discusses this important question.

Download the audio at this link.

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The Homiletic Process in A Minute

© tntdesigns - Fotolia.com

© tntdesigns – Fotolia.com

Someone sent this in on our Facebook Page and I thought the answer might be applicable to many readers.

Hey I have a few questions if you don’t mind helping me, I am a young preacher myself, how long on average does it take most preachers to write sermons? Can you please break down the time spent in preparation, outiling, exegesis,and actually constructing the sermon? Also, when do you know that you are ready to actually preach the sermon? Please help me out, thanks

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My God, My God, Why….?

On the cross Jesus uttered a fascinating sentence. We find it in Matthew 27:45-46, Jesus said “My God, My God, Why has thou forsaken me?”

If you have been in the church for even a short time you have heard this quoted. Perhaps you have even heard sermons on the subject, but have you thought about that text and what it means about Jesus and what it means for us who find ourselves attempting to preach on this weekend?

Here is Jesus, who the Father calls God in Hebrews 1:8. That Jesus who is fully God is also fully connected to humanity. A connection so strong that he yelled out the cry that we also find in Psalms 22. A connection so strong that he could feel forsakenness.

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Prophet or Orator?

Emotional businessman praying in hopeIn the book Sacred Art: Preaching and Theology in the African American Tradition Olin Moyd quotes Peter T. Forsyth who said: “The Christian preacher is not the successor of the Greek orator, but of the Hebrew prophet. The orator comes with inspiration the prophet comes with a revelation.”

Oratorical Talent Alone is not Preaching

Forsyth is reminding us of some preachers who think that they can get away with oratorical talent rather than Spirit lead inspiration. We all have seen some great orator-preachers. They can elicit a smile, laugh, or cry at exactly the right time. Every word is exactly perfect. The voice is a booming baritone that reminds one of James Earl Jones. The “Hallelujah” or the “Praise God” is always in exactly the right place. The messages may “inspire” but they don’t push us to change. They don’t even ask us to change, they are too busy patronizing us in our sin. They may make us feel good for a little while, but they don’t confront our society or us individually with the in breaking of the Kingdom of God.

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Preaching That Is Not Conventional

There is a lot of preaching today that does not address the reality of our membership in the Kingdom of God. Neither does it address the reality of the “present evil world” (Galatians 1:4) that we might be delviered from it. We often fall into the trap of preaching that is designed to merely provides tools to help us become better situated or more successful in this present world rather than helping us to become ambassodors of the coming Kingdom.
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How Much Time For Sermon Preparation?

Can we complete sermon preparation in four hours? All of us whether in full time or part time ministry have limited time. However, those of us who are called to the preaching office have to put together effective sermons that are Biblically and theologically sound as well as correctly addresses the real needs of the congregation. In light of this very real need a SoulPreaching.Com reader asked the following:
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Increase in Sermon Intensity not Yelling

Man screaming out loudIn my post discussing Jasper William’s Whooping System, I wrote about the whooping Curve. This is an increase in intensity that subsides slightly as you enter the sermon close and then grows again to the final climax.
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