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know thy audience – nigel irwin

The old saying goes, ‘to assume makes an ass out of you and me’. Recently I disproved this saying, showing instead that to assume often makes an ass out of me… and only me. In April I had the privilege of speaking at the 2016 Youth of the Nation Conference here in Whanganui. I admit […]

fast preaching – mark keown

In recent years the demography of our church has shifted radically. It is no longer primarily European as it once was, but praise God it is now a rich blend of Europeans with non-European peoples who have come to NZ to settle. While some of these people have good English, a large number struggle with […]

compelling confrontation – rhett snell

Have you ever preached a sermon where you’ve felt your audience turning on you? I’m not a very ‘prophetic’ preacher, so it’s a rare occurrence for me, but once or twice I’ve been preaching a biblical text or truth, and as the sermon has progressed I’ve realised that people are more agitated than usual. The […]

the chronic fatigue syndrome of preaching in nz – andy shudall

There’s is a chronic fatigue syndrome in our churches and it is laying people low. Its symptoms are many and its impact is systemically evidenced. It is found behind our lecterns, pulpits and music stands. Preachers are tired – chronically tired – of preaching God’s Word. We download sermon outlines, pass off googled illustrations as […]

preaching to the heart – shelley west

I remember the classes A LONG time ago now at primary school. Friday morning just before morning tea was Bible in Schools time. Bible in School time meant extra stickers for me; I knew the answers, I knew the stories, I knew the memory verses, I knew all the right things to do and say […]

when the congregation preaches the sermon – reuben munn

Preaching is always a dialogue. Just because you may be the only one speaking, that doesn’t mean it’s a monologue. As Tom Long says: “The hearer is not at all passive in the listening process. The space between pulpit and pew bristles with energy and activity. As the preacher speaks, the hearer races ahead in […]

preaching to people who actually exist – rhett snell

I preached my first sermon roughly 13 years ago, but I still think of myself as a new preacher. I think that’s because for large swathes of that first decade, I wasn’t actually preaching to flesh and blood people. At least not the ones sitting through my sermons. I was preaching to my heroes. I […]

how to end a sermon – john tucker

I was in a preaching lab at Carey Baptist College. A pastoral leadership student was preaching to his year group. The sermon was, in many respects, quite outstanding – until the conclusion. The message, which had started so well and promised so much, ground to a thudding and disappointing halt. I’m struck by how many […]

what is the hardest sermon you ever preached? – steve worsley

Was it the sermon you did on Gay Marriage, knowing an ill-advised word could cause a church split? Was it the time you offended the creationists by not preaching their line? Did you get buried under the weight of Numbers or Romans or tied in knots explaining the ‘genocide’ of Joshua? Did you drown in […]

when explanation becomes exasperation – jeremy selfe

I have recently been reflecting on the sermons that I have heard trying to work out the difference between the sermons that are a joy to listen to and the sermons which seem like a bit more work. For some reason, the technique I learnt in preaching class – explain (what does this text say?), […]