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john catmur: come and watch me burn

Spirituality might well be a frequent topic of conversation today – but when it comes to the preacher, it is one of the hardest issues to master. How significant is the state of the preacher’s walk with God when it comes to measuring the impact of their sermons?

This issue isn’t discussed much because it doesn’t quite fit as a natural component in the ‘art’ of preaching. It tends to remain assumed and so it can receive very little attention. It thus becomes an opaque issue, lurking uncomfortably in the background, unaddressed. However it is my conviction that the preacher’s spiritual state is utterly crucial for the effective ministry of the Word. (more…)

john catmur: bottom-line preaching

Last week one of the elder statesmen of our church preached on the fundamental question of eternity and where we will spend it. He used the classic question from Evangelism Explosion: ‘Suppose you were to die today and stand before God, and He were to say to you, “Why should I let you into my heaven?” what would you say?’

We may look on this as rather crass, but actually the congregation that morning loved it! At least it gave them something to kick against.  If they responded positively they wouldn’t be able to walk away unchanged.

My question is this: do we need more ‘Bottom Line’ preaching? (more…)