Preaching Workshop with Larry Osborne & Chris Brown [Day 1]


I’m in California with 20 other guys, getting some intense training on preaching from Larry Osborne and Chris Brown at North Coast Church. Here are my notes from Day 1:

  •  Because of biblical illiteracy, seekers love deeper bible teaching because they love the idea of digging into something. 
  • Many preachers evaluate sermons based on the wrong things. We base it on did we wow the church or keep their attention. We need to ask if they know it and do it.
  • The things that count and matter, keep saying them. Remind them.
  • When you repeat something that you’ve said before, tell your church that you say this a lot.

Why we preach

  • Too often churches and communicators split up the great commission and make it 2 parts.
  • We’re proclaiming Christ, the path of grace and the path of obedience.
  • We want to be faithful to Scripture, adaptive to the culture (all things to all people), and live out the truth of what we preach.

Two great temptations for preachers

  • Take too much credit or blame for how people respond.
  • To seek to be known as a great preacher, rather, than seeking to make known a great God.

Mars Hill Question

  • Can we be too adapting to the culture in our preaching?
  • You never want to confuse entertainment with teaching or familiarity with knowledge.

Be You

  • When it comes to planning, what a sermon looks like, be you. Have freedom to be you. 
  • You don’t need to be better than someone else, you need to be you.

Storytelling & Storytellers

  • “I have met many a men who tell stories, I have met very few storytellers.” -Mark Twain
  • To know if you are a natural storyteller is if a group yields to you to tell a story.
  • When you think about how to communicate something, do you think of a story or facts?

Putting a sermon together as a narrative (This was the best part of the day)

  • Text: John 5
  • Characters: Jesus and the man
  • Crowd: sick, angels, curious
  • Concerned: the people connected to the people in the story (family and friends, people who hear about what happen), what is the town like? Where is it? What is Jerusalem like? What is laying by the pool waiting to be healed like? What do people feel like who know the man by the pool? What do they feel when they see his disappointment and frustration if he isn’t healed?
  • Areas covered in a story: immediate area, local area, surrounding area (what do we know about the immediate area: the pool of bethseda, the local area is the sheep gate (what’s important about that).
  • Climates of a text: spiritually, politically, economically.
  • Every passage has a story and has a “so what?”
  • If you don’t help people understand the story and what to do with it, they won’t listen to it.

Two common mistakes that make for interesting sermons but bad theology

  • Confusing descriptive with prescriptive. 
  • Preaching the gospels without asking how the epistles and the early church interpreted them.

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