Special Issue Sundays

Life, Pastoral Ministry, Sola Panel

Special Issue Sundays at church – I’m not convinced!

Recently a friend suggested that Australian churches should consider an Anti-Gambling Sunday like in the United States (September 21). As the Americans said, “Gambling, at any level, is an investment in trouble.” (more…)

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…)

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…)

Borers in the pulpit?

Pastoral Ministry

Boring sermons are often the bane of church life. However, it need not be so. Rob Smith offers some reflections on how preachers can minister the word of God more faithfully and more effectively.


Blood, sweat and tears

Pastoral Ministry

Donald Howard shows us why sermon preparation is still a matter of much-needed hard work.1

There is a joy in pulpit preparation—a sense of expectation which spurs us on. But work is needed:


A preacher’s guide to sermon illustrations

Joshua Bovis explains how and why sermon illustrations can be a valuable aid or a distracting hindrance.

Imagine this: a Bible college student is about to preach a sermon in his expounding Scripture subject. His eyes scan the hall and notice the faculty with their poker face expressions. He takes a breath and begins: “I am going to make something disappear before your very eyes, and you shall never see it again!” Reaching into his pocket, he brings out a banana and proceeds to eat it before the students. The man who told me this story laughed as he recalled it, but he had no recollection of the sermon. (more…)

The dangers of valuing preaching

Can a commitment to expository preaching cause us to deviate from biblical ministry? William Philip draws our attention to three areas where we are likely to shift.

At a preaching conference I attended, there was a bookstall run by some-one from the local Bible college. As I browsed, it struck me that here was a plethora of books on every aspect of what might be called the art or science of biblical preaching: there were books on effective preaching, power preaching, arresting preaching, anointed preaching, Christ-focused preaching, and every other aspect of preaching you could imagine. Many of them—if not all of them—were sound, orthodox, biblical and evangelical, and most of them were probably very helpful books. Nevertheless, as I looked at them, I could not help but feel some disquiet. (more…)

Preaching the Cross


Sometimes it can seem futile preaching the Bible week in and week out. But, as Gary Koo discovers, it’s the most important thing God wants you to do as a pastor. (more…)