Preach Better Sermons || Ed Stetzer

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 Ed Stezter. Ed is President of LifeWay Research and author of numerous books including, Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and the Churches that Reach Them. Ed is a contributing editor for Christianity Today, a columnist for Outreach Magazine, a visiting professor at two prominent seminaries, and is frequently cited or interviewed in news outlets such as USA Today and CNN. He and his family reside outside of Nashville, TN.

Here are some things that jumped out from his segment:

  • You have to decide what you are communicating. 
  • Maximize your study by minimize your searching.
  • The Bible is always relevant, we don’t need to make it relevant, but we do need to make it relevant to them.
  • We must show our churches why something in the Bible matters.
  • Pastors are prone to exaggeration because they want to motivate.
  • Don’t use bad stats to motivate people.
  • Finding your own voice is one of the most important things for a communicator to do. Don’t be someone else.
  • Preach more Bible instead of simply good advice.

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. America, Christmas and Jesus. What Americans believe about Christmas and how they celebrate it.
  2. If you or someone you know is struggling with a porn addiction or know of a marriage that porn is destroying, here are some great resources to help with that. In the fall of 2009, Katie and I did a sermon together on porn addiction and what it does to marriages and it is still our most downloaded sermon at Revolution. You can get it here. Katie also did a series of blog posts for the wives of husbands dealing with a porn addiction that are definitely worth reading.
  3. Was Jesus really born? Here is a helpful article to answer that question.
  4. Michael Lukaszewski on Lazy Leaders. This is one of the differences between leaders who get things and leaders who don’t. Church planters, people don’t want to follow someone who is lazy.
  5. Lots of people do top 10 lists for music, books and movies at the end of the year. Here are my top 10 albums of the year. Two friends of mine, who I trust when it comes to music also posted their lists. See their’s here:  Brent Thomas and Steve McCoy.

Links of the Week

  1. Darrin Patrick on planting pitfalls, learning from criticism and more. A great video interview.
  2. Jared Wilson on 10 reasons to under program your church.
  3. USA Today on the faith of Millenials. Fascinating article.

Links of the Week

  1. Do you have extra time over the holidays? Need something to do? Here are some great talks centered around the values of “The Man, The Mission and The Message” from Acts 29. Great stuff.
  2. Leading up to Passion 2010, they are having days of prayer to focus everyone who is going. You can follow along here.
  3. USA Today recently examined the multi-site church trend.
  4. Seth Godin and 69 other authors are giving away a free ebook called “What Matters Now.”
  5. Preaching and the clock. My opinion on preaching has always been, “Study as hard as you can, step onto the stage prayed up and prepared as possible and take as long as you need to get your 1 point across. Sometimes that is 60 minutes, sometimes it is 30.”
  6. Paul Ingram on Being in Tucson for 1 year. It is crazy that it has been a year, it has only just begun.
  7. The art of leadership. Leadership is an art form that needs to be developed and shaped.
  8. John Piper’s new book on the book of Ruth: A Sweet and Bitter Providence.

Saturday Night Mind Dump…

  • What a day
  • It started at 5:30 am
  • I did 3 leadership talks at a conference in Phoenix this morning and then came back to preach tonight
  • Awesome night
  • I love how God is moving and working in our church and the way he is sending people to us
  • I love how passionate people are about the mission of Revolution and helping people find their way back to God
  • I got there right at 5 and everything was done
  • I was reminded once again about the incredible team we have at Revolution
  • The band nailed “Rest” by Skillet after the sermon
  • We mentioned that next week we are having a guest band in to lead worship, you can check them out here
  • You need to be thinking about who you are bringing April 11, Easter weekend, don’t miss this opportunity!
  • 56% of Americans would go to church if someone asked them
  • It was awesome talking leadership today with other pastors and leaders
  • I got to teach on Self-Leadership and What keeps us from reaching people
  • I was also on a panel talking about how to do church more effectively
  • I also got asked about an awesome opportunity today that will impact Revolution in an awesome way
  • (Because it isn’t for sure yet, I don’t want to say anything…stay tuned)
  • I’m taking a spiritual retreat day this week, looking forward to that and just the time to connect with God in that way
  • I’m also meeting with my spiritual director this week, that is always helpful
  • These are just some of the things that came from reading Leading on Empty
  • Right now, Paul and I are reading Missional Renassaince, there are so many ideas in this that will help us have more focus at Revolution
  • We’re changing the way we do our leadership meetings at Revolution, I’ll share more about this this week, but it is going to help us be more effective with our volunteers
  • The Nightline debate of “Does Satan Exist?” was fascinating, definitely worth checking out
  • I filled out a bracket and I have no idea what I was doing, it shows
  • Mark your calendars, April 10 (Good Friday), we’re doing the Stations of the Cross @ Revolution, if you’ve never done this, you need to check it out
  • I’m looking forward to a slower month, March kicked my butt
  • April is a lot more open, once I get past Easter, so the end of April is more open (that’s me thinking positively)
  • Click here to join our online conversation
  • I’m heading to bed, I can barely keep my eyes open

7 Keys to Will Smith’s Success

  1. Think Globally
  2. Talent at the Top
  3. Mix it up, to a point
  4. Preserve the Smith brand
  5. Cross color lines
  6. Be master of your domain
  7. Leave nothing to chance

Here is the article in USA Today.

What are the applications to a church? To leadership?

Thanks Corey.