Preaching The Story

This is the second time I have used “The Story” series in Chapel.  First at FT Jackson and now we are beginning it at Scofield Barracks: Main Post Chapel.  It is really exciting to see so many looking at the Bible in a fresh way.  Last week I preached the Intro sermon

Tommorow begins week #1.  If you want to read along you can pick up a copy of the story or check out the (Chart_of_Bible_References).

If you are interested in doing “The Story” at your church or chapel, check out

Below is week #1 letter to the congregation:


I hope you are enjoying The Story and ready for week #1 this Sunday!

Are you beginning to see the connections between the upper story and the lower story?

It has been fun for me this week to listen to my kids’ questions as we read chapter one together before they go to bed.

You may be a bit intimidated by the Bible.  You’re not alone; many people are.  And no wonder,  its pages mention odd names like Jehoshaphat and Nebuchadnezzar.  It contains accounts from places you probably never heard of, like Sinai and Samaria.  And it seems to be made up of a lot of different, seemingly unrelated stories.  But it really is one big, exciting story.

You can see it easily if you open your Bible to the beginning and then flip all the way to the end.

The first words found in Genesis 1:1 read: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  Then, if you turn all the way to the back of the book,  Revelation 21:1, you find, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away . . .”

In the beginning God is creating the heavens and the earth.  At the end he is creating a new heaven and a new earth.  So the big question is this: “What on earth happened between the beginning and the end of the Bible?”  If you can answer that question you will have uncovered the one seamless story of God.

Why not read God’s story with your family this year?  Studies indicate if the extent of your child’s exposure to things of the faith is a only weekly visit to church or Sunday School, the likelihood is very great that when she graduates and leaves home her relationship with the Lord will turn cold.

However, if you as a parent engage your children in the experience of reading and discussing the Bible, chances go up astronomically that they will remain strong in their faith after leaving home.  You don’t have to be an expert or have all the answers.  You just have to be willing to experience it with them.

Get involved in The Story of God.  It will forever transform your life and your family’s life. Every day God is seeking to guide you, forming sentences that flow into paragraphs that over time write the chapter of your life––a life committed to knowing him better.

Will you choose today to take your life chapter and make it a part of the Big Story of what God is doing on earth?

Reach out to the one who is reaching out to you, today.  You won’t regret it!

Here is a link to last week’s Sermon   The Story Intro

Here is another link to a video I made a few years back on the Garden of Eden Story East of Eden

Last week I didn’t have time to share this with you but I put together an Acrostic “APPLE” to help you with a few Bible study principles.

            Bible Study Tips:  talk story and reach out to the one who is reaching out to you!

  1. ?          Ask Why?                           What’s the Purpose?
  2. @        Pray                                     Cheat:  Ask God’s Spirit to Guide you
  3. *          Pay attention to details.  Something is off, look for Clues
  4. +         Look for the Cross            Intersection of Upper story and Lower Story
  5. !          Explore                               Appreciate uniqueness

Over the Next year, we are going to Read through the Bible, using The Story as a guide.  (See hand out attached)

Find your place in God’s Story!


Integrative Preaching

One of the the best teachers that I have studied under in preaching Dr. Kenton Anderson hosts a website called and is an advocate of integrative-classroom.  Click the link to open up various resources on the topic and learn the approach first hand.

The Model

The Tools

The Elements

The Process

Preaching the Lectionary

The Lectionary isindex not part of my usual preaching tradition, but today I preached as part of the Liturgical service at Ft Jackson.  It was the Third Sunday of Easter, in year B in the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL).

The readings were:  Acts 3:12-19, Psalm 4 (read responsively), 1 John 3:1-7, and the Gospel reading was Luke 24:36b-48.  The service was great, full of reverence, readings, and prayers.  Preaching the lectionary was more fun, yet more challenging than I thought it would be.  I began looking for the theme that connected these passages.  “Witness” seemed to be the theme that stood out.  The Big Idea for my message was,

“Witnessing the Resurrected Lord must move us from talk to walk.”

While in Seminary working on my Th.M, I took a class at Harvard Divinity School, Preaching through the Liturgical Year.  It was a good introduction to the idea.  I discussed the difference between preaching sermon series and preaching the Revised Common Lectionary with preachers from each tradition.

Many of you who do this regularly might know about many resources, but I wanted to point out a few helps.

If you are preaching the lectionary as part of your tradition there are several resources to check out.

Feasting-on-the-Word-Complete-12-Volume-Set-Bartlett-David-L-9780664237134There is a great commentary set entitled Feasting on the Word
You can get the whole set or buy specific volumes.  Check out their site. 
Also there are two books that I have read that have been helpful to me in these areas.

A couple sites that have been helpful are:

Other resources that a friend of mine pointed out are below:
A resource I have found helpful is the Lectionary Lab.  Pastors discuss reflections on passages via a podcast.
Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) has been a great experience and there are many resources available to help.  The Lectionary connects us to the larger church and the cycle of the Christian year.
  • Do you used the RCL regularly?
  • How has it been helpful?
  • What has been difficult?
  • What are the most helpful resources you have used?

As you preach, do it well, honor God and use the best resources as you teach His Word!

Deep Sermons cannot be preached by shallow people.  Profound sermons only come from people who enjoy a profound relationship with God.  Like it or not, the condition of our personal relationship with God will control our public ministry for God.  – J. Kent Edwards

Deep Preaching, Edwards 43

Truth Through Personality

“Truth through personality” is how Phillips Brooks defined preaching at the Yale lectures in 1876.  Brooks made a connection between the preacher and the preached word.  

What does this look like in your preaching?

Take a look from the grounds of Trinity Church in Boston and remember his legacy.

Find Your Voice. . .Make Your Point!

Free E Books from Exponential


Preaching to the Unconvinced


Preaching-to-the-Unconvinced-Vince-Antonucci-ebook-Cover-Square72Christians believe, want to know God’s Word and come eager to hear your preaching. Non-Christians don’t believe, aren’t that interested in God’s Word, but sometimes end up in your services. So how do you preach to the unconvinced? How do you destroy the negative stereotypes they have about God, the church, and you as the preacher? And how do you help them to have ears to hear what God has to say to them? This eBook from church planter Vince Antonucci is divided into seven practical principles Antonucci has found to be critical and effective in preaching to the unconvinced. With each principle, he offers helpful examples of how he puts them into action, as well as inspiring real-life stories of how the unconvinced have become convinced.

Key highlights:

  • Seven proven principles for preaching to the unconvinced
  • Strategies for busting stereotypes of pastors, churches and
  • How to evaluate and use your preaching to create a safe place
    for the unconvinced
  • How to creatively use culture to build bridges
  • How to anticipate and proactively respond to questions and
  • How to tell a story and present Jesus as the hero

 Free eBook

More ebooks, podcast, and other resources for download

Best Year Ever for your Preaching

Best year everThe year has just started and chances are you have given up on some New Year’s resolutions. You have looked back and said, “January is over already?”

If someone were to tell you, “This year is going to be your best preaching year ever.”

  • What would have to change in the way you Plan, Prepare, and Preach for this to be TRUE? 

PLAN: How you decide what you are going to preach?

Pray for guidance as to what your congregation needs to hear and that God will form you as you plan to form them.

PREPARE:  How much time do you set aside for your sermon prep?

Have you tried anything new?  Is there something you could do differently to help with your preparation?

Read a new book on preaching or Bible study this year and implement something new in your sermon prep.

This year you could work with your peers or a preaching team as you prepare and encourage each other.

Take more time, if you have been working week to week, work out a few weeks and see how ideas flow as they marinate over the weeks before you preach.  This helps me to add more creativity and insight in my preaching.

PREACH:  When was the last time you got real feedback after your sermon?   Good football teams watch game films and are honest about the strengths and weaknesses of the game.  In the Army we do AARs or After Action Reviews.

How could you do a better job of sermon self-evaluation?

Ask for help.  Watch your sermon and be honest about what you see.  Check out Sermon Coach.

Make this year, the best preaching year ever for you!

What will you do?  Your congregation will be glad you did!

Paul Revere’s Big Idea

Filmed in Boston at the grave of Paul Revere.

Have you ever thought about Paul Revere’s message and the need for a clear Big Idea?

  • Why is having having a clear central idea important in a sermon?
  • What would it take for your next sermon to have a clear and compelling point and purpose?

Give it a shot and your listeners will rise up and call you blessed!