Category Archives: Teaching
Good words hereabout packing too much into a sermon.
“I take it for granted that we all believe the Bible to be the Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice. I take it for granted that we all read the Bible with regularity. What I am going to plead for, however, is concentrated, sustained, devoted study of the Bible, the kind of study that is not fulfilled by the perfunctory reading of some passages each day…
What I am going to stress is the necessity for diligent and persevering searching of the Scriptures; study whereby we shall turn and turn again the pages of Scripture; the study of prolonged thought and meditation by which our hearts and minds may become soaked with the truth of the Bible and by which the deepest springs of thought, feeling and action may be stirred and directed; the study by which the Word of God will grip us, bind us, hold us, pull us, drive us, raise us up from the dunghill, bring us down from our high conceits and make us its bondservants in all of thought, life and conduct.
The Word of God is a great deep. The commandment is exceeding broad. And so we cannot by merely occasional, hurried and perfunctory use of it understand its meaning and power. Sustained and diligent study of the Bible is indispensable.”
–John Murray, “The Study of the Bible,” in The Collected Writings of John Murray, Volume 1 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1991), 3-4
A young Phil Curtis was trying to teach the junior high boys. He was being eaten alive by them. Jane Burchett gave him for simple rules and he never had any problems again.
The 4 principles:
1.Be (better) prepared with your lesson. By questioning me, she determined that I was not adequately prepared with my S. S. lesson. With Jr. boys I had to be much better prepared than for an adult class. Every 5 minutes had to be fully accounted for! I was the primary problem, not the kids.
2. Set the ground rules. I should have done this at the first class. I did the very next Sunday.
3. Follow through with discipline. As part of the ground rules, indicate what the consequences would be should they break a rule (in this case, they would be sent out to the dept. supt.). She suggested giving them one warning, if they should break a rule, and the next time, follow-through with the consequences. (On that next Sunday back, within a few minutes of the opening of the class, I had sent out a student to the dept. supt. He was stupefied! You could have heard a pin drop. I never had trouble with the class after that.)
4. Follow good classroom management techniques such as (1) eye contact with a talking student, (2) moving toward and standing next to a restless student while continuing to teach, etc.
Copied from BTW.
Collin Hansen has a good interview here with Mike Bullmore on the challenge and privilege of preaching from the Old Testament.
Pastors and seminarians, I highly recommend that you listen to Bullmore’s teaching on preaching. It is rich, practical, and doused with gospel grace. Here are some free MP3s preaching at Sovereign Grace conferences:
I use this grid on a regular basis. I commend it to you. – Chap
The application grid is a helpful tool from 9Marks that can serve pastors preparing sermons, as well as all of us when reading biblical texts. The grid has you examine how the main point of a passage applies to six areas:
- Unique salvation-historical. Does the main point address a text that thrusts forward the unfolding plot of redemption in history?
- Individual Non-Christian. Does the main point have implications for the unbeliever’s thinking, behavior, or motivations?
- Public. Does the main point have implications for how we conduct ourselves in the public squares of commerce, politics, justice, etc . . . ?
- Christological. Does the main point have implications for how we think about Christ Himself?
- Individual Christian. Does the main point have implications for my own persona discipleship to Christ?
- Local church. Does the main point have implications for how we conduct ourselves as an assembled congregation or in our corporate life together?
- Goal. The goal of a good intro is to show the unbeliever that we understand how they might perceive what we’re saying, and to show the believer why it is important for them to pay attention to this passage and this sermon.
- When. It’s best to wait the writing of the introduction until the end of your preparation. That way you know exactly what you’re trying to introduce.
- How. Use a story, quote, experience, or thought that frontloads the sermon’s application for the believer and identifies with the unbelievers’ skepticism.
The Main Meal
- Goal. To give the weight and balance of the passage, letting it speak, and being sensitive to when things in the text happen relative to salvation history.
- When. Write the body of the sermon first. Introductions and conclusions are easier to write if you first know what you are trying to introduce and conclude.
- How. State your proposition clearly. Then formulate main points that demonstrably relate to that proposition and expound the textual referent of each main point.
- Goal. The goal of a good conclusion is to make the whole weight of the text’s point come down on the listeners’ hearts in one concise statement or question.
- When. Conclusions are best written late, perhaps just before writing the introduction. Again, figure out what you’re trying to conclude first.
- How. Repeat your proposition, summarize your main points, and give a concise quote, hymn verse, or a well-phrased sentence that presses the weight of the text on the hearts of the listeners. Winsome second person speech (“you”) can be useful here.