Archives For Preaching

When it comes to the Great Commission, there are basically three responses a church can have. A church can do nothing, something, or one thing.

Doing Nothing

A church that does nothing believes the Great Commission does not apply to them. In other words, they make the argument that the command of Jesus to His disciples then was for a particular people in a particular time and has no direct implications to Christians today. Therefore their church members are off the hook, so to speak, when it comes to making disciples. The exceptions to this principle are the “great” Christians who obey the command of Christ to make disciples. The “great” aspect of the Great Commission refers to the elite special forces of the Christian faith which, of course, excludes most, if not all, of us.

This response also attempts to use seemingly good theological arguments to make their case. God is sovereign, and He’s got the whole salvation thing under control. He does not need our help. If He wants more disciples, He will make it happen. This argument, although is partly true, actually does not really appreciate the sovereignty of God as it is revealed in Scripture. God is not only sovereign over the ends but also the means as well. God will make it happen, and He will do so by making it happen through means—through His people who are called to join Him on mission. Playing the sovereignty card on doctrinal table is an ungodly way to justify disobedience to the commands of Christ.

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HIM We Preach!

Tim Brister —  August 3, 2013 — 1 Comment

Last night, I watched this sermon by H.B. Charles Jr. and was incredibly blessed by it. Faithful exposition powerfully communicated on the Christ-centered preaching. If you are a gospel preacher, you’ve got to watch this.

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True and False Christianity MindMap

Last Sunday, I preached a message on true and false Christianity from Philippians 3. One of the newer elements of my sermon prep has been to incorporate mind-mapping at the early stages of developing the sermon. This usually happens alongside the time of sentence diagramming and shaping thoughts on the moleskine. Last week, I did my mindmap while in bed late Monday night. When I posted it on Twitter Saturday night, I had a lot of questions about mind-mapping and how I use it for sermon development.

Our minds likely work differently, so the approach to mind-mapping will vary. However, I still think every preacher can benefit from the exercise. For me, it has been instrumental in collecting thought and connecting them to the thesis or main idea of the text. In a non-linear fashion, it has allowed me to flesh out thoughts better than the bullet point format.

For those interested, I thought I’d share the connection between my mindmap and my manuscript, both of which I am posting below. You can also listen to the MP3 of the message. As for the tools, I produce my mindmap using iThoughtsHD on the iPad, and I create my mindmap on MS Word to be converted on Pages for the iPad. Click on the mindmap to get the larger version to view.

True and False Christianity Mindmap
True and False Christianity Manuscript
True and False Christianity MP3

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Gospel-Centered Expectations

Tim Brister —  December 29, 2012 — 6 Comments

Danger-ExpectationThe nature of your expectations will have direct impact on your receptivity of future grace.

The preaching of the gospel is a powerful means of grace for the Christian, but is that your expectation? What is the nature of your expectations every time you hear the Word of God preached? A gospel-centered church will have a congregation full of gospel-centered expectations every time the Word of God is proclaimed. The commentary (and lifestyle) post-preaching will evidence the nature of expectations, whether they are God-honoring or not.

When it comes to the preaching of God’s Word (or gospel) . . .

» If you expect to come away with intellectual insights, you will find something to satisfy knowledge cravings.

» If you expect the preacher will say something debatable, you will find something to blog about.

» If you expect to judge the quality of the preacher’s message, you will find something he said wrong or could have said differently.

» If you expect to have a to do list for moral improvement, you will find opportunity for behavioral modification to try harder and do better.

ON THE OTHER HAND . . .

» If you expect life transformation, you will discover the Spirit exposing sin and fostering greater desire for repentance.

» If you expect to become like Jesus, you will be granted fresh eyes of faith to behold Jesus.

» If you expect to be used in the service of the kingdom, you will find the Word empowering and enabling you to bear fruit disproportionate to your abilities.

» If you expect to meet with God, you will find God will not pass you by without glimpses of His glory and grace.

The question is . . . what are you expecting whenever you come under the authority and power of God’s living and active, faith-engendering, sin-exposing, Christ-exalting, gospel-centered Word?

He who has ears to hear, let him hear. – Jesus

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This past Sunday I preached on Matthew 11:28-30, and below is my sermon manuscript wordled.

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