Troublemaker (2) How a sermon takes and changes shape

I wanted to share a little bit of my sermon preparation process with you.  The process starts quite a way back. I am currently spending a lot of time reading and thinking about 2 Corinthians which we will be going through in the autumn.

Then in the week before I am due to preach, I will look at the passage in detail, annotating a copy of it, identifying the logical flow of the text, highlighting key words and phrases, looking out for unusual, difficult to understand and challenging statements.  From this I will identifying the main application that we are being asked to focus on this week.   Continue reading

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Preaching Old Testament and other Narrative Passages

Here are a couple of tips and thoughts around preparing to preach or teach on Old Testament narrative -actually these potentially apply into the NT and other contexts as well. However, I hope this will be particularly helpful as we continue to work through 2 Samuel and prepare to teach on the end of Genesis at Sunday Night Church. Continue reading

Book Overview – 2 Corinthians (part 1)

I’ve been including a few big picture overviews of Bible books and parts of books over the last week. In the Autumn Bearwood Chapel will be looking at 2 Corinthians together. Here’s an introduction to the book. Continue reading

Putting 2 halves together

So we’ve all seen those films where a character is walking round with one half of a locket on a chain. Eventually they meet the person with the other half. One of the challenges of preaching is that you have to choose where to put the breaks each week. This means that sometimes you will find yourself looking at a passage and thinking ” but that’s only one half of the story.” Continue reading

Preach carefully – looking after victims in church

I’ve been writing a few articles in response to a challenge raised on twitter about whether churches were safe places to refer abuse victims. Continue reading

The danger with character studies

What was it like for Barabbas as he walked out of that prison cell, not to his execution but to freedom? What motivated the women to stick close to the cross and be the first at the empty tomb after the men fled? What happened to the centurion who called Jesus  ” Son of God.” Did he become a believer? And what about Simon of Cyrene? What was it like to carry the cross for Jesus? Have you ever wanted to step into the shoes or get into the heads of those at the Cross.  Continue reading

Discipline and enemies (Preaching 2 Samuel 14 -24 part 6)

When we started looking at how to preach 2 Samuel 14 -24, we saw that there is a lot of narrative with sparse evaluation in terms of either the author’s assessment of things or a direct prophetic word from God. The temptation may be to spend a lot of time trying to second guess who does right and who does wrong. Was David wrong to mourn Absalom or was Joab insensitive? Was Mephibosheth or Ziba telling the truth? I think we can work out those things to some extent from clues but we shouldn’t get bogged down in second guessing the text. Continue reading