Sermon Titles

Sermon Titles

Articles
I have yet to pick up a book without a title. I have yet to read a blog post without a title. I have yet to hear a song with no title. I have yet to consume content without a title. The reason why is because content creators know that value of a good title. A well thought through title can carry a theme. It can hook people into the content. It can even help people remember the focal point of the content. Don’t underestimate the value of a quality sermon title. You can use your title to draw people into the sermon. You can use it as a means of advertising. You can use it to communicate an idea succinctly. A good title will Help your people remember what…
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Gospel > Irreligion

Gospel > Irreligion

Articles
Humanity believes that there is joy and satisfaction of the soul available apart from right relationship with God in Christ. We see the evidence of this through peoples pursuit of sex, drugs, alcoholism, perfect grades, higher paying jobs, and well behaved kids. Every soul is on the hunt for something that’ll satisfy the ache inside of every heart. One of the most commonly held beliefs is that irreligion will create the meaning, satisfaction, and life transformation that people are looking for.   As ministers of God’s Word we must contrast the Gospel against irreligion. We must take the time to distill the truth that Jesus offers fountains of living water that satisfy every desire of the soul all the days of our lives. Gospel must be displayed as an alternative…
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All Roads Lead to Christ

All Roads Lead to Christ

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Like most human beings in the world I love music. There’s a type of song that I’m always on the lookout for. This type of song can be found in almost any genre of music. It’s the angst filled song that builds into a climactic bridge. It’s the song that hooks you in, builds big, and finishes with a stellar crescendo.   Your sermon has the same opportunity week after week as you preach the Gospel. A great way to preach the Gospel is to connect all of your sermon points to the Cross of Christ as the crescendo of the sermon. I learned how to do this by listening to one of my modern heroes, Dr. Timothy Keller. I found my heart racing and screaming shouts of praise in…
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Don’t Forget Jesus

Don’t Forget Jesus

Articles
People go to the store to buy stuff with their kids. They’re not supposed to leave the store with stuff and without their kids. Ever had that moment? The one where you went to Walmart and you looked away for a few seconds and the next thing you know you’re panicking looking around for your kid. It’s a horrifying feeling. At the time of this writing my firstborn son is under the age of one. If my personality is any indication I’ve got a long road ahead of me with this boy and I’m sure I’ll lose him a time or two to come.   Preaching a sermon without the Gospel is like leaving walmart with more stuff but no kids. This is a strong statement but you need to…
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Get Your Reps In

Get Your Reps In

Articles
Growing up with my younger brother was a blast. He was a quirky guy with funny idiosyncrasies. He would get fired up about some aspect of fun or life and chase that rabbit full speed ahead. During his junior year in high school he became obsessed with his body and working out. One important thing to note is that we are Ethiopians. Meaning genetically speaking we are predisposed to skinny. Not my brother. He fought against his biology and won. He gained 40 pounds, started working out, and began to build his body. He taught me about working out along the way. One of the things he taught me was how to use the reps you do in weight lifting to build muscle a particular way. It’s a helpful illustration…
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Practice Helps You Become A Great Preacher

Practice Helps You Become A Great Preacher

Articles
Extracurricular activity was never my thing growing up but my buddy Austin convinced me to join a pee wee football team after a successful flag football season during our 6th grade year. The only thing I failed to consider was that this was tackle football. The only problem with tackle football was that I weighed about 60 pounds and it involves immense physical contact. I was terrified of getting hit. Everyone was literally bigger and stronger than me and my Ethiopian frame could not sustain. I distinctly remember negotiating with Corbyn the linebacker telling him I’d be happy to go down as soon as the whistle blew as long as he didn’t hit me. He agreed. The whistle blew. He tore me down so fast. I cried. I left practice…
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Cohesive Flow

Cohesive Flow

Articles
I hated my art class growing up. I was never good at drawing or building things with my hands. God gave me a gift of gab from a young age but never the gifts of craftsmanship. We were asked to build clay sculptures, draw animals, and create self-portraits. My clay structures always fell apart. My animals looked like aliens. My self-portraits looked horrendous. If you ask me to draw you will see images that are garbled and make no sense. But maybe in today’s world I could go hipster, call that “abstract art”, and sell it for thousands. Art that doesn’t make sense leads to poor art class grades. Sermons that don’t make sense leads to unhelpful or even detrimental sermons. One of the most important things to work towards…
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Simple Sermon Structures

Simple Sermon Structures

Articles
I would hate being made fun of. Especially when I was a kid. I still do but it stung more back then. I got ridiculed often. Especially because I was an oddball (shocking right?). I earned all kinds of nicknames: Alfalfa, Snaggle, Webby (short for Webster in light of my usage of big words and general nerd-dom). One time I’ll never forget an older female bully tell me “You're simple!” Which was a creative way of calling me stupid. I was offended. I hated being the nerd but if I was going to be a nerd I refused to be insulted for a lack of intelligence. I took offense. I’m still recovering and God’s healing me. It wasn’t until I recently I realized how valuable the concept of “simple” truly…
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Sermon Structure

Sermon Structure

Articles
Matt Chandler of The Village Church has a few points of teaching that he regularly visits with his people over the years in preaching. One of them is this: “You don’t have a choice in whether or not you’ll glorify God. You will glorify Him as you willfully bow your knee to Him as a trophy of grace or you’ll glorify Him as He justly judges you for your rejection of Him. In either case you will glorify Him.” It’s a strong statement and it’s biblically accurate. I’ll use a parallel statement as it relates to your sermon prep: You will have a sermon structure regardless of how hard you do or don’t work on your sermon. Your sermon structure will either serve your people faithfully or it will hinder…
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Structure Strategically

Structure Strategically

Articles
There is a way that God has designed the universe to work and when we operate within those parameters we win. For instance… God has not designed me to put up sheetrock, hunt for deer, or fix the dryer when it busts. I was designed for reading Spurgeon sermons, talking in general, and binge watching Netflix. Life’s just easier when I structure my schedule in alignment with how I work.   So goes your sermons. Strategic planning doesn’t just go into the vision of your church or personal development. It’s necessary for your sermon prep too. My favorite sermon structure that I see many great preachers utilize looks something like this:   Introduction Sermon point Illustrations Application Explicit Gospel Conclusion Call to Action   Every pastor is different but it’s…
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