The Role of Preaching

I grew up in a tradition where preaching was highly valued, so much so that a call to ministry was commonly described as a “call to preach.” As I began processing God’s call on my own life, I naturally focused on preaching above everything else. Interestingly, two years into my ministry journey, during my senior … Read more

Online Bible Study Tools

Edited on May 26, 2012 to say that this list is a little dated, but hopefully, it’s still helpful. I have always been a researcher. Back in college and seminary (just before the internet became widely available), I commonly had tons of sources in my research papers and I often spent many hours/days researching before … Read more

You Write the Words!

While listening to music by FFH yesterday, I was especially struck by their song, “You Write the Words.” The song describes a songwriter’s struggle to write something new and fresh, something that would stand the test of time. The songwriter notes that songs like “Amazing Grace” and the “Hallelujah Chorus” have already been written. But … Read more

It Takes 20 Years to Make a Sermon

I have waited 20 years to write this post, even though the blog has only been around a few years. In the earliest days of my Christ-following journey (as a college student), I read as much as I could about the lives of preachers who’ve gone before us. One of those people was E.M. Bounds, … Read more

Slow Down in the Curves!

Some of the more popular search topics that bring people to this blog are searches related to Andy Stanley. I’ve written about Andy Stanley’s (and Lanes Jones’) book, Communicating for a Change before (see One-Point Preaching). This book has been the single most impacting book I’ve read on preaching. The first part of the book … Read more

One-Point Preaching

(For more recent reflection on one-point preaching, please see 5 Years of One-Point Preaching and 10 Years on One-Point Preaching). The most impacting book I’ve ever read on preaching/communication is Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley and Lanes Jones. The book is based on the preaching approach of Andy Stanley, lead pastor of North … Read more

“Making Vision Stick”

Andy Stanley has written a must-read book for leader/communicators who want to maximize the adhesiveness of their vision! Andy Stanley, founding and lead pastor of North Point Community Church, is one of a handful of writers that I read everything they write. The latest book I’ve read is Making Vision Stick (see Google Books’ limited … Read more

What’s the Puzzle? 2.0

Defining the puzzle is a good place to start when preparing your talk. In a previous post, I reflected on the question, “What’s the puzzle?” in relation to our dissertation projects. Since then, I’ve been incorporating the question into my sermon prep. I thought I’d say a little about it here for other communicators who … Read more


I have been using mind mapping ever since I read Doug Hall’s book, Jump Start Your Brain several years ago (a great book on creativity). Also, check out this Wikipedia page on mind mapping. Mind mapping is a non-linear approach to brainstorming and note-taking. In other words, instead of starting at the top of the … Read more

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