Small, but a lot of punch

Pastoral Ministry

When I was invited to lead a women’s retreat, one of my greatest fears was realized: I was given free reign on my teaching topic. Making decisions has never been my strong suit. I labour over what to eat for breakfast. How would I ever choose one subject from all the Christian topics out there? (more…)

→ Preaching matters


Here’s a new resource from St Helen’s Bishopsgate, an evangelical church in the middle of London:

Preaching Matters is a monthly video series designed to equip, encourage and inspire those who teach God’s word. Each month we sit down with preachers and ask what they have recently been thinking about and preaching on.

The series will include video interviews with, amongst others, William Taylor, Andrew Sach, Phillip Jensen, and David Cook. The first couple of videos up on the site are some behind-the-scenes type chats with William Taylor on Luke, and Charlie Skrine on 1 Corinthians and celebrity preachers, with updates out the first Monday of each month. Interesting food for thought.

Stop preaching only to the choir?

Pastoral Ministry, Sola Panel

It’s hard to manage expectations about how much our regular church meetings are for evangelism!

Last weekend, I received this feedback from a very mature and committed member, via our comment cards.

The dilemma of preaching and hearing God’s word

Pastoral Ministry

As a preacher, I work hard to maintain good habits in preparing a sermon. Translating from the original Greek or Hebrew text, engaging with the commentators, creating a clear structure for the sermon, and finally, figuring out how to communicate God’s word in an enlightening fashion (as opposed to a dry and boring one). (more…)

Teaching preaching

Everyday Ministry

I wish I could say that the idea to begin a ‘teaching preaching’ course at our church was part of a deliberate and well-planned strategy to equip people for ministry. The truth is I stumbled across the idea out of desperation as I tried to cope with ministry demands, but I want to share it with you because it is the most significant ministry training I have ever done in a local church context.1 (more…)

Devoted to ministry and prayer

Everyday Ministry, Life, Pastoral Ministry, Sola Panel

flickr: notsogoodphotography

You know those times when you read a Bible passage so familiar that you barely see it any more? Then a word or phrase jumps out at you, your perspective shifts, and you see it clearly. It’s like those 3D puzzles where the picture suddenly comes into focus.


Preaching Christ from the Old Testament

Pastoral Ministry

Preaching Christ from the Old Testament is hard. It’s hard because the Old Testament text itself can be hard to deal with—it’s long, complicated, and culturally distant. It’s hard because even when we get to grips with the text, it isn’t always easy to see how it relates to Jesus and/or how we can encourage people with the gospel, rather than simply making them feel guilty and weighed down with impossible requirements. (more…)

The Surprise of God

Thought, Sola Panel

I can keep my kids busy for quite a while when I tell them that there is a surprise hidden in a certain area of the house. Their determination is unmatched as they search high and low. (more…)

A preacher’s near blunder

Pastoral Ministry


Well, I preached Psalm 11. For what it’s worth, you can find a somewhat sloppy manuscript somewhat sloppily inserted into the comments of my previous post.

I made the mistake of assuming that the ESV text, which I used, would be fine. It was, except that the NIV text—which was the preferred Bible translation at the church I was visiting—departed ever so slightly from the ESV at two significant points.


Psalm 11—A Psalm about Jesus

Pastoral Ministry

Psalm 11 talks about the wrath, fire and judgement of God.

I have some 3/4 formed thoughts about how the Psalm points to Jesus. But I would be delighted for blog readers to add their thoughts to the mix, as I prepare to preach it this Sunday. You can go in the footnotes that all good preachers put into their sermons and read out as people are exiting the building.


How to think about multi-site churches

Pastoral Ministry, Sola Panel


Have you seen Mark Dever’s chat with Mark Driscoll and James McDonald about multi-site churches? It’s excited plenty of interweb comment, not least because of the rather vigorous way Dever is set upon by the other two in a kind of jokey, jovial but still half-serious way.

(‘Multi-site’ means planting a new congregation or church service at a new location, but having the lead pastor from the mother church still do the bulk of the preaching, usually by means of a video feed. It’s a growing and controversial practice in US churches. Is it healthy? Useful? Biblical?)