The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.

Our Strategic Christian Leadership Bible verse for this episode is Romans 12:9-10 which says, “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.”

Our Strategic Christian Leadership quote for this episode is from George Orwell. She said, “High sentiments always win in the end, The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.”

Our first topic today is part 2 of “Chapter 3: Preparing the Boat: Developing the Strategy” from “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs. He continues as follows:

— What is Strategy Development?

For the sake of clarity, we need to pause and experience a brief “clarity moment” that involves answering the question, What are we talking about? This chapter addresses the development of a strategy for your ministry, and it is important that you know what strategy development means. In this book I am using the term to mean the process that a church works through to determine the goals and their objectives of each mini-strategy (small s) that makes up the church’s overall Strategy (big S). It also includes the recruitment of development teams (DTs) who work through and develop the goals and objectives of these mini-strategies within a set time frame. And this process takes place in the context of who the church is, where it is, and when it is.

Our Scripture verse on preaching is Galatians 1:9-10 which reads: “As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

Our quote on preaching today is from George Whitefield. He said, “To preach more than half an hour, a man should be an angel himself or have angels for hearers.”

Our first topic is titled “The Call to the Ministry, Part 13” from “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon. He writes:

We have occasionally had applications at which, perhaps, you would be amazed, from men who are evidently fluent enough, and who answer all our questions very well, except those upon their doctrinal views, to which repeatedly we have had this answer: “Mr. So-and-so is prepared to receive the doctrines of the College whatever they may be!” In all such cases we never deliberate a moment, the instantaneous negative is given. I mention it, because it illustrates our conviction that men are not called to the ministry who have no knowledge and no definite belief. When young fellows say that they have not made up their minds upon theology, they ought to go back to the Sunday-school until they have.

PROCLAIM! #24

Our Scripture verse on preaching is Mark 1:14-15 which reads: “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He said, “So many people come to church with a genuine desire to hear what we have to say, yet they are always going back home with the uncomfortable feeling that we are making it too difficult for them to come to Jesus.”

Our first topic is titled “The Call to the Ministry, Part 10” from “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon.

Thus much may suffice, but the same subject will be before you if I detail a little of my experience in dealing with aspirants for the ministry. I have constantly to fulfill the duty which fell to the lot of Cromwell’s Triers. I have to form an opinion as to the advisability of aiding certain men in their attempts to become pastors. This is a most responsible duty, and one which requires no ordinary care. Of course, I do not set myself up to judge whether a man shall enter the ministry or not, but my examination merely aims at answering the question whether this institution shall help him, or leave him to his own resources. Certain of our charitable neighbors accuse us of having “a parson manufactory” here, but the charge is not true at all.

Our second topic is titled “The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 23” from “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs.

This section is titled: HE MUST BE FIT FOR THE WORK (PART 8)

Each Christian should therefore take care as to what he puts into his body in the way of food. He should avoid what he knows, by experience, to be detrimental to his physical health, or what he realizes unfits him for his most efficient service for the Lord. He should abstain from either overeating or under-eating, and only take the kind and quantity of food necessary to keep him physically at his best for God. Any habit that is harmful to clear thinking or pure living should be shunned. Such habits as the drinking of alcoholic liquors, or smoking, should be avoided like a plague, lest they hinder the effectiveness of the preaching of the Word of God. While it is true that temperance, and not total abstinence, is the teaching of Scripture, yet, for the sake of example, it is far better to leave all questionable things strictly alone.

Our third topic is titled “Tools of the Trade, Part 7” from “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

— Context

Having selected the passage, we must first examine it in its context. The passage does not exist in isolation. As individual verses rest within a paragraph, the paragraphs are part of a chapter, and the chapters are part of the book. If you were reading any other book, you would not open it to page 50, read a paragraph, and from that, assume that you could speak with some authority about the author’s meaning. The author may be giving you the argument of an opponent, not his own. At the very least you would want to read the whole chapter to discover how this one paragraph fits within the larger section. If you really want to understand your paragraph, you would also ask questions about how the chapter that contains your paragraph fits within the entire book. The old saw still has a sharp edge: “The text without the context is a pretext.”

PROCLAIM! #23

Our Scripture verse on preaching is 1 Timothy 4:13-14 which reads: “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Fred Craddock. He said, “Preach like you know they almost didn’t come.”

Our first topic is titled “The Call to the Ministry, Part 9” from “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon.

At the time of my first delivery of this lecture, I had not read John Newton’s admirable letter to a friend on this subject; it so nearly tallies with my own thoughts, that at the risk of being thought to be a copyist, which I certainly am not in this instance, I will read you the letter:–

“Your case reminds me of my own; my first desires towards the ministry were attended with great uncertainties and difficulties, and the perplexity of my own mind was heightened by the various and opposite judgments of my friends. The advice I have to offer is the result of painful experience and exercise, and for this reason, perhaps, may not be unacceptable to you. I pray our gracious Lord to make it useful.

Our second topic is titled “The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 22” from “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs.

This section is titled: HE MUST BE FIT FOR THE WORK (PART 7)

The preacher should be physically fit. Public speaking exacts a tremendous strain on one’s supply of nervous energy. In fact, one hour of preaching is the equivalent of eight hours of physical labor, in terms of the expenditure of nervous energy. The physical is more closely linked to the spiritual than we imagine. The ideal, so far as preaching is concerned, is to have a healthy soul in a healthy body. The apostle John realized this and wrote to his beloved friend, Gaius, “I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”

Our third topic is titled “Tools of the Trade, Part 6” from “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

— Sermon Length

Another factor we must consider in choosing what to preach is time. We must preach our sermons in a limited number of minutes. Few congregations being offered well-prepared and attractively presented biblical truth will sit before their pastor with stopwatches in their hands. Yet, if we’re honest, we will not take time not granted to us. We must tailor our sermons to our time, and the cutting should be done in the study rather than in the pulpit.

PROCLAIM! #22

Our Scripture verse on preaching is 2 Timothy 3:15-16 which reads: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Walter Chantry. He said, “Much of modern preaching is anaemic, with the life-blood of God’s nature absent from the message. Evangelists centre their message upon the man. Man has sinned and missed a great blessing. If man wants to retrieve his immense loss he must act thus and so. But the Gospel of Christ is very different. It begins with God and His glory. It tells men that they have offended a holy God, who will by no means pass by sin. It reminds sinners that the only hope of salvation is to be found in the grace and power of this same God. Christ’s Gospel sends men to beg pardon of the Holy One.”

Our first topic is titled “The Call to the Ministry, Part 8” from “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon. He writes:

Prophets whose words are powerless, sowers whose seed all withers, fishers who take no fish, soldiers who give no wounds–are these God’s men? Surely it were better to be a mud-raker, or a chimney-sweep, than to stand in the ministry as an utterly barren tree. The meanest occupation confers some benefit upon mankind, but the wretched man who occupies a pulpit and never glorifies his God by conversions is a blank, a blot, an eyesore, a mischief. He is not worth the salt he eats, much less his bread; and if he writes to newspapers to complain of the smallness of his salary, his conscience, if he has any, might well reply, “And what you have is undeserved.”

Our second topic is titled “The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 21” from “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs.

This section is titled: HE MUST BE FIT FOR THE WORK (PART 6)

The preaching gift must be developed in the atmosphere of spirituality. Spiritual gifts require spiritual power for their operation. This demands that the preacher himself must be spiritual. We cannot do better than quote the weighty words of an honored servant of Christ, the late Henry Groves. Speaking of the early disciples, he said, “It was a spiritual work they had to do, therefore He spiritualized the men who were to do it. It was faith they had to plant, therefore He made His missionaries men of faith. They had to deliver the nations from the idolatry of gold and silver, therefore He took care His messengers should have none.

Our third topic is titled “Tools of the Trade, Part 5” from “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson. He writes:

Topical exposition faces two problems. First, the topic we are considering may be dealt with in several passages of Scripture. Each of the individual passages, therefore, must be examined in its context. Isolating a single passage on which to base a teaching may ignore tensions built into the biblical record. Usually, topical exposition takes more study than exposition based on a single passage.

Our Scripture verse on preaching is 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which reads: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Patrick Henry. He said, “It is the business of a virtuous clergy to censure vice in every appearance of it.” Continue reading

The simple purpose of this podcast is to help church leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.

Series #1, Episode #15

Our Strategic Christian Leadership Bible verse for this episode is Philippians 2:15 which says, “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”

Our Strategic Christian Leadership quote for this episode is from James C. Hunter. He said, “It is a shame that so many leaders spend their time pondering their rights as leaders instead of their awesome responsibilities as leaders.”

Our first topic today is part 11 of “Chapter 1: Preparing the Navigator — A Prelaunch Checklist” from “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs. He writes:

11. Using Creative Tools for Strategic Planning

I divide the creative tools needed for strategic planning into two categories: functional tools and process tools.

Functional Tools

Functional tools are those items that a leader needs simply to function well and accomplish the process. I have already mentioned most of these above. They consist of the following: a whiteboard and dry erase markers or a chalkboard, a large paper pad and an easel, an LPC or similar quality projector for PowerPoint presentations plus a screen, and possibly an overhead projector.

Our second topic today is part 8 of “Chapter 1: Minimality — Keep it Simple” from “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning. He continues as follows:

Small But Sacred

After watching the evening news of our messed-up world, a man says to his wife, “I’m going to go get some air.” She knows what he means. He is going to go for a walk with the dog while she does the dishes. And as he walks, he will process the affairs of the day. He will notice nature again. He will breathe deeply. He will find peace. Each evening, he performs a ritual act of sacer simplicitus: “sacred simplicity.” It is a small thing, but it is huge. It has a disproportionate impact on his spiritual health and renewal.

Our third topic today is part 5 of Chapter 3: “Common Sense: The Logic of Humility” from “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson. He continues as follows:

The Universe

So far, my contention that humility is common sense has involved what you might call a horizontal argument. When we compare ourselves to others, especially to the entire community of others, our skills, gifts and knowledge base, however great, have only relative significance. Our personal competencies are well worth celebrating but not extrapolating without restraint.

PROCLAIM! #20

Our Scripture verse on preaching is James 3:1 which reads: “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Martin Luther. He said, “To preach Christ is to feed the soul, to justify it, to set it free, and to save it, if it believes the preaching.”

Our first topic is titled “The Call to the Ministry, Part 6” from “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon. He writes:

I have heard of a gentleman who had a most intense desire to preach, and pressed his suit upon his minister, until after a multitude of rebuffs he obtained leave to preach a trial sermon. That opportunity was the end of his importunity, for upon announcing his text he found himself bereft of every idea but one, which he delivered feelingly, and then descended the rostrum. “My brethren,” said he, “if any of you think it an easy thing to preach, I advise you to come up here and have all the conceit taken out of you.” The trial of your powers will go far to reveal to you your deficiency, if you have not the needed ability. I know of nothing better. We must give ourselves a fair trial in this matter, or we cannot assuredly know whether God has called us or not; and during the probation we must often ask ourselves whether, upon the whole, we can hope to edify others with such discourses.

Our second topic is titled “The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 19” from “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs.

This section is titled: HE MUST BE FIT FOR THE WORK (PART 4)

This gift may be lost through neglect. Paul exhorted Timothy, “Neglect not the gift that is within thee.” He wrote concerning another, “Say unto Archippus: Take heed unto the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfill it” [or fill it full]. It is sadly possible for a Christian, through neglect, not to fulfill the ministry which the Lord has given to him. May the Lord deliver us from an unfulfilled ministry! It is not without significance that the napkin, in which the unfaithful servant wrapped the pound and the talent, was his sweat cloth, which the servants of that time used to tie around their waists so as to be handy as occasion demanded.

Our third topic is titled “Tools of the Trade, Part 3” from “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson. He writes:

— Thought Units

Often we will work our way chapter by chapter, verse by verse, through different books of the Bible. In making our calendar, therefore, we will read through the books several times and then divide them into portions that we will expound in particular sermons. In doing this we should select the passages based on the natural literary divisions of the material. We will not count out ten or twelve verses to a sermon as though each verse could be handled as a separate thought. Instead, we will search for the biblical writer’s ideas. For example, in the New Testament letters the texts will usually be selected by paragraph divisions, because paragraphs delineate the building blocks of thought. As expositors we will usually choose one or more of these paragraphs to expound, depending on how they relate to one another and thus to one of the author’s major ideas.