I once attempted to use an example from accounting in my sermon. No one understood me, and the accountants in the church said I mixed up my terms. Apparently, debits and credits are not as straightforward as I thought, which is why—I guess—that accountants have jobs. Sermon illustrations are tricky. You try to be funny, but you’re corny. You try to be inspirational, but you’re cheesy. You try to be serious, and you have a booger in your nose. Sermon illustrations are the flavoring Read more [...]
  http://www.westbradenton.org/assets/2079/180121_hh_widows_and_orphans.mp3   I’m preaching a six-week series called “Healthy Homes.” There are many different types of homes that make up the church body, and we want all of them to be healthy. This sermon covers the topic of widows, widowers, and orphans. God has a special concern for the care and protection of the most vulnerable. The way you live reflects what you believe. Your persistence has more power from a place of Read more [...]
  Statistics never tell the whole story, but they can validate a story exists. A chart detailing a decline in worship attendance cannot explain why the church is dying, but it does reveal the decline is actually occurring. During a recent church consultation, we interviewed a long-time member who refused to believe the church was declining. Even when we showed her a chart of their own numbers, she said, “You must have the wrong numbers.” If facts are our friends, then stats are our teachers. Read more [...]
    We share some opinions and insight about how pastors should handle themselves on social media. We talk about things like using the humble brag and dealing with conflict. This episode is brought to you by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and LifeWay Pastors. Subscribe: iTunes ● Google Play Follow us on Twitter: @estchurch, @jowiki, @micahfries, and @samrainer.   Read more [...]
  Every Monday at 4:00 p.m., I meet with both my worship pastors. We review the previous Sunday. We discuss the upcoming Sunday. We laugh together. We hold each other accountable. Sometimes I sing their worship set back to them because I have the voice of a senile cat and it annoys them. This meeting is critical for several reasons. Music and preaching are complementary, not separate. Some lead pastors have the perspective of “You do your thing, and I’ll do mine” with worship Read more [...]