My Notes from Preach Better Sermons

book

In case you missed them today, here are all my notes from today’s online preaching conference, Preach Better Sermons:

Steven Furtick

The whole worship service is one thing, not separate parts, it is one thing. The service is won and lost in transitions. Preaching and a worship service communicate what your values are.

Louie Giglio

Louie’s 6 rules of preaching: (1) Have something to say, (2) Be faithful to the text, (3) Lead people to Jesus, (4) Don’t be boring, (5) Prepare, (6) Be led by the Holy Spirit.

Donald Miller

You need to show up everyday because you don’t know when creativity will strike or when something will hit.

Brad Lomenick

A great communicator moves people and inspire people.

Dave Ramsey

If an audience doesn’t laugh every 7 minutes, you lose them.

Mark Batterson

Would you rather be a great preacher or a great pray-er?

Darrin Patrick

Would your sermon work if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead?

Jon Acuff

The greatest way to ruin a speech is ego.

Crawford Lorritts

You’ll never preach any better than who you are. Effective ministry always comes out of the overflow of your heart and walk with God.

Pete Wilson

When you attach your identity to the success or failure of your message, you are in for a roller coaster ride and it is dangerous.

Nancy Duarte

People should leave a sermon and feel unstuck.

Andy Stanley

The foundation of our faith is not Scripture, the foundation of our faith is Jesus.

Ed Stetzer

Maximize your study by minimize your searching.

Mark Driscoll

God’s people are on mission to see more people become God’s people.

Overall, tons of great content for preachers.

Preach Better Sermons || Pete Wilson

bookI’m watching the online conference Preach Better Sermons today and wanted to share some of the learnings I picked up. One of the speakers is Pete Wilson. Pete is the founding and senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, the second church he has planted in the last seven years. Pete graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in communications then attended seminary at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. His desire is to see churches become radically devoted to Christ, irrevocably committed to one another, and relentlessly dedicated to reaching those outside of God’s family.

Here are some things that jumped out from his segment:

  • You should plan and prep as far out as you can. 
  • If I don’t get a good start at the beginning of the week, I feel behind all week.
  • Gather as much information at the beginning of your sermon prep, worry about editing later.
  • When the church reads, they grow. Find resources to reinforce the message.
  • When you attach your identity to the success or failure of your message, you are in for a roller coaster ride and it is dangerous.
  • Feedback is helpful, but can’t be the focal point of your identity.
  • For a sermon to last, you have to utilize blogs and social media to help it stick.

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

book

  1. Brian Howard on Questions every pastor and leader should answer.
  2. How to preach and captivate your congregation.
  3. Pete Wilson on Crushing narcissism.
  4. Steve Jobs and the goal of preaching. If you preach, this is gold.
  5. Ed Stetzer on Mental illness and the church. Really helpful stuff.
  6. Trevin Wax on 5 ways to avoid the drain of busyness.

The Image Toaster

Links I Like

  1. Tim Challies on What sanctification is and is not. This is incredibly helpful. 
  2. Mark Driscoll on How to get things done. Helpful list on productivity. 
  3. Pete Wilson on 3 things every pastor should unlearn
  4. 4 myths attacking the church today.
  5. Ed Stetzer on Preach the gospel, and since it’s necessary, use words
  6. The idea of evangelism makes me uncomfortable

Links to Help You Get to Friday

  1. 12 words of encouragement for pastors. Great list. 
  2. Al Mohler on The goal of sex within marriage and how porn robs that. Love the idea that sex within marriage is the fulfillment of the rest of the marriage relationship. 
  3. How fear robs us. Great insights into what fear does in our lives. 
  4. Pete Wilson on How worry is killing us
  5. Mike Breen on Why the leadership movement is leaving your church leaderless
  6. 12 things a veteran church planter wished that he knew when he started. Great list for pastors and church planters. 
  7. The 5 mistakes CEO’s (and pastors) make when speaking
  8. To end with a great movie coming out:

Links of the Week

  1. According to Christianity Today, being a pastor is a risky profession. This is a helpful article for pastor’s to know the dangers and for their churches to know how to support and pray for their pastor.
  2. Brent Thomas gives his favorite albums of the year so far. Admittedly, I have none of these, some were on the list, but they’re now moving up the list.
  3. How the gospel makes us generous and content with our money.
  4. Ed Stetzer on Freedom of religion has to be freedom for everyone.
  5. New Barna research on how churches are impacting their community and how they are viewed by their communities.
  6. Will Mancini on 6 ways to communicate vision every week. This is helpful and important for leaders to understand.
  7. The missional student ministry. Makes me grateful for the leadership Paul Samson gives to Rev uP.
  8. Pete Wilson Taking a digital detox. I cherish going on vacation, leaving my computer at home and handing Katie my phone so I don’t check it.
  9. Spiritual warfare in the home. This is real and you need to pray against it.
  10. Michael Hyatt on 5 reasons you need to get better at saying “No.”
  11. Instant churches. We are blessed to meet in another church, but I definitely could see us having 1 or more sites that meet in schools in the future.
  12. Charles Stone on 5 really bad ways pastors react when people compare them to more successful churches.
  13. Factors that predict multiplication of communities.
  14. R.C. Sproul on Understanding what the Bible says on homosexuality.
  15. Leadership red flags.

Links of the Week

  1. What the CNN religion blog learned in one year. Shows how prevalent religion and spirituality is in our culture, news stories and how passionate people are about it.
  2. Are you smarter than Anthony Weiner?
  3. Atheists and agnostics know more about the Bible than Christians. Sad.
  4. Jared Wilson on 3 musts for pastors that don’t get put in their job descriptions.
  5. Pete Wilson on Deeper preaching.
  6. Actually, that’s not in the Bible.
  7. Perry Noble on What a husband needs to understand about his wife. Read this, pass this on. So good. Here’s a great line from the article, “if having your wife “not leave you” is the only goal you have for your marriage then you officially suck as a husband.”
  8. 10 reasons why missional communities fail part 1 and part 2.
  9. Ben Reed on Lessons from preaching. This is a good picture into what the weekly role of preaching can do to a pastor.
  10. James MacDonald on Congregational government is from Satan. A strong title, but so true when it comes to what the Bible says.
  11. Jonathan Dodson on Is religious pluralism really tolerant.
  12. 4 ways to be the church for dummies. This is a high compliment for a church.
  13. How to not grow a healthy church.

Faith Never Gets Easier

I spent last Wednesday on Mt. Lemmon for my monthly day of solitude. On these days, I usually hike, listen to worship music, a sermon or two, read my Bible, some soul stirring theology and journal. It is one of the most refreshing things I do. I am grateful for the elders of Revolution for putting this into my job description with the expectation that I would do this and that they hold me accountable to make the time for it.

Today, I was listening to a sermon by Pete Wilson. It was actually the first sermon I listened to by him and he made this statement that grabbed me and I thought about it all day, “Where in scripture did God call someone to something easy?” The answer, “Nowhere. Nowhere in scripture did someone that God called did they get an easy assignment.”

The longer I am a pastor, the more that God moves and blesses us at Revolution this thought keeps creeping in, “Faith never gets easier.” The job gets bigger, the risks get harder, the stories of people’s lives get more painful, but the life change gets sweeter. As we grow and God blesses us, more and more is at stake. It would be easy to sit back and get comfortable and protect what we have.

When I was 19 I began praying two prayers:

  • That when I planted a church that God would allow me to spend my whole life there. When we started Revolution, we planned to do it til we died.
  • That God would use that church to help 1 million people find their way back to God.

Do you know when that pray seemed its easiest and smallest? When I first started praying it. It now seems harder and more costly because I am older and have more to lose. Faith never gets easier.

I think that is the point though. If faith was easy, it wouldn’t be faith and we wouldn’t need God in our lives. Saturday night, as I drove home I had this sense of excitement and anticipation about what God is doing. As I laid in bed, I also started to get this feeling of, “What do I do now?” I am finding myself having to rely more and more on God as I lead Revolution, as I preach, as I lead the staff and elders, as I cast vision and dream (which is scary and exciting at the same time).

So while faith never gets easier, each time I see God move, faith in a way gets easier. I now have a long history of God moving and working that I can build on and look back on and remember what he has done in the past and know that He will move in more powerful ways in the future.