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12 Challenges of the Christmas Eve Service

Even if your shopping is complete and the gifts are wrapped, the pastor knows that there is one more thing to do before Christmas morning. Hold Christmas Eve Services.

Whether you are preaching, celebrating the Eucharist, leading the prayers, singing the carols, handing out bulletins, or greeting people at the door, it is a big moment in the annual life cycle […]

By |2020-12-23T16:16:54-06:00December 13th, 2020|Categories: For Pastors, Leadership|Tags: , , |0 Comments

The “Perfect” Christmas Eve Sermon??

Christmas Eve is rough on preachers; at least for this one.

The atmosphere for a truly great sermon is all there: scenery, families, music, lighting, Scripture, attendance, joy, and a holy hope in every heart and on every face. But my Christmas Eve sermons (33 and counting) are never equal to this setting. They always seem weak […]

By |2020-12-14T16:49:55-06:00December 12th, 2020|Categories: For Pastors, History, Preaching|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

5 Essential Elements of a Funeral Sermon

It’s been an exhausting week. You spent much of it at the hospital, praying for a dying Christian, giving comfort to a grieving family. You missed time with your own family to be a pastor to the parish. You sat with a beloved parishioner’s children as they argued over how they wanted the funeral and burial to go. […]

By |2021-01-07T14:19:56-06:00June 25th, 2020|Categories: Preaching|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Let John Chrysostom Preach His Nativity Sermon the Sunday after Christmas

Several years ago, I served as the Assistant Rector at a large Anglican Church. This meant, of course, that I had the wonderful opportunity of preaching cultural holiday weekends when attendance would be predictably low … i.e. Memorial Day Weekend, Labor Day Weekend, etc.

One of the key weekends that I always got to preach was the First Sunday of Christmas. […]

By |2020-12-14T16:43:42-06:00December 13th, 2019|Categories: Church Year, Opinion, Preaching|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Mother’s Day Sermons: Yes or No? (UPDATED 2020)

Mother’s Day sermons, at least in certain circles, can be a bit controversial. After all, Mother’s Day is not liturgical holiday, an official part of the Church calendar.

So, should you preach Mother’s Day sermons? In a word, yes. This year, let me say it even more strongly, “You’d better!”

(For all of our Anglican Compas content on preaching, go […]

By |2020-12-17T12:12:59-06:00May 1st, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Opinion, Preaching|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Learning to Preach from G. Campbell Morgan (Preachers of the Past, pt. 4)

This is part 4 of “Preachers of the Past,” a series where we discuss four distinct preachers from the past, ranging from 347 A.D. to 1945. 

We’ve included detailed preaching points for study and discussion towards the bottom of this post.

Some Background on G. Campbell Morgan (1863-1945)

By |2019-04-05T12:42:40-05:00April 8th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Preaching|Tags: , |0 Comments

Learning to Preach from Phillips Brooks (Preachers of the Past, pt. 3)

This is part 3 of “Preachers of the Past,” a series where we discuss four distinct preachers from the past, ranging from 347 A.D. to 1945. 

We’ve included detailed preaching points for study and discussion towards the bottom of this post.

Some background on Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)

Phillips […]

By |2019-04-03T16:13:13-05:00April 1st, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Preaching|Tags: , |0 Comments

Learning to Preach from Martin Luther (Preachers of the Past, pt. 2)

This is part 2 of “Preachers of the Past,” a series where we discuss four distinct preachers from the past, ranging from 347 A.D. to 1945.

We’ve included detailed preaching points for study and discussion towards the bottom of this post.


Some background on Martin […]

By |2019-03-24T12:01:50-05:00March 25th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Preaching|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Learning to Preach from John Chrysostom (Preachers of the Past, pt. 1)

This is part 1 of “Preachers of the Past,” a series where we discuss four distinct preachers from the past, ranging from 347 A.D. to 1945.

We’ve included detailed preaching points for study and discussion towards the bottom of this post.


Some Background on John Chrysostom […]

By |2019-03-24T11:53:41-05:00March 18th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Preaching|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Why and How to Preach about St. Patrick this St. Patrick’s Day

The pub nearest me has festooned itself with green, orange, and white bunting. My doctor’s waiting room is plastered with cardboard shamrocks that say LUCKY. McDonald’s has brought back (for a limited time) its Shamrock Shake.

Yes, my friends, it’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, and since this year [2019] that falls on a Sunday, we might consider, “Should we preach […]

By |2020-01-14T10:21:56-06:00March 8th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Opinion, Preaching|Tags: , |0 Comments

3 Questions to Ask When Preaching from Pop Culture: Avoid My Mistakes

Pop culture is the known world for most people today. By definition, it is the “popular” and dominant culture, heavily influenced by mass media, in America and in much of the world.

At Christianity Today, I worked with a colleague who was extremely bright and working on her doctorate in English. One time, she and some friends were standing in the […]

By |2019-01-01T19:28:30-06:00October 26th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Preaching|Tags: , |1 Comment

The Power of the Sermon Checklist: Why You Need One, and How to Make Your Own

In his best-selling book The Checklist Manifesto, surgeon Atul Gawande makes the compelling case that the best way to ensure quality is something simple, old-fashioned, and overlooked: the checklist.

In fact, he argues, we need the checklist more than ever, because today, information is so abundant and complex, it overwhelms our ability to process. To ensure we do most jobs right—fly […]

By |2019-01-01T19:28:31-06:00October 12th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Preaching|Tags: , |2 Comments

Four Creative Constraints of the Preaching Life

This post originally appeared at LeaderWorks on January 23, 2018.

Preaching may be more than art, but it is certainly not less. It is a craft and a skill. An individual may have certain gifts given by God, but those gifts are diminished if not stewarded by effort and practice.

Excellence deceives us. When we see a baseball player effortlessly turn […]

By |2019-01-08T17:29:40-06:00October 2nd, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Leadership, Preaching|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Learning from Giants: 3 Authentic Ways to Learn from Gifted Preachers

This seems like a safe support group, so I’ll just say it: “My name is Kevin, and sometimes I have preacher envy.”

When I hear great preaching, part of me appreciates the clarity and beauty of the Gospel; another part of me thinks, “I wish I could preach like that.”

I remember listening to lectures on preaching by Tim Keller, and even […]

By |2019-01-01T19:28:36-06:00September 28th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Preaching|Tags: |1 Comment

Ten Novels Every Pastor Should Read

This post originally appeared at LeaderWorks on April 17, 2018.

You are not a robot.

When someone asks why they should bother to read novels, that’s my answer. And when I’m asked this question by someone in ministry, I bold and italicize it.

Because behind this question is an ugly utilitarianism: What will these books do for me? Reading fiction is reduced […]

By |2018-09-22T16:12:35-05:00September 24th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , , , , , |3 Comments

Funny You Said That: Stewardship and Humor (Giving, Part 3)

From LeaderWorks: helping leaders do their work.

Normally, you wouldn’t find a blog post on humor mentioned in a series on Stewardship, Giving, and Generosity. The topic of stewardship and giving is not an easy one to speak about. It makes some people feel very uncomfortable. Both speaker and listener share long moments of angst when the topic is raised […]

By |2019-01-10T16:50:52-06:00August 31st, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity, Preaching|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

A Rector’s Preaching Summit

Over at LeaderWorks, I wrote a short blog about the preaching role of the Rector.  Read it here.  And buried in the last part of the article is a small link to a HUGE opportunity for Rectors of congregations.  LeaderWorks and the American Anglican Council are sponsoring a “summit” […]

By |2019-01-10T16:51:03-06:00August 16th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Preaching|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Five Reasons Why You Should Focus on Your Pulpit

Anglicans love liturgy. This has always been true, but in the past couple of decades, I’ve seen more and more young clergy who are especially enamored with the formational impact of rightly ordered worship.

I would imagine this phenomenon is due mostly to a generation of young priests drawn to the Anglican way from a low church […]

By |2019-04-01T16:20:25-05:00August 14th, 2018|Categories: Preaching|Tags: , , , , , , , , |2 Comments

Yanny vs. Laurel and Tongues of Fire

Lots of amazing things happened on the Day of Pentecost, recorded in Acts 2. Earth was overcome with Wind and Fire. Chaos ensued. Rushing. Falling. Power. Roaring. Speaking. Hearing. Wind. Fire. Pow!  What a day.  The promised Gift of the Holy Spirit did not come gently to soothe. He is NOT that […]

Yanny vs. Laurel, Pentecost, and What People Hear

For the record, I hear Laurel. I can’t not hear Laurel. My wife hears Yanny. I’ll let you know how that works out.

This latest viral sensation, similar to ‘The Dress’ before it, plays on the maddening subjectivity of human perception. Whether it’s sight or sound, we take our sensory perception as bedrock and when […]

By |2019-04-21T17:12:01-05:00May 18th, 2018|Categories: Preaching|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

10 Ways to Preach the Easter Sunday Sermon

Talk about pressure—the Resurrection is the biggest event in the history of the world. Individuals and families who rarely darken the doors of a church will find their way into your sanctuary on Easter. While our culture has morphed the moment into lilies, butterflies, eggs, and bunnies, people still desire to hear this story. And why not? It […]

By |2019-04-12T16:47:30-05:00March 27th, 2018|Categories: Liturgy & Worship, Pastoral Ministry, Preaching|Tags: , , , |5 Comments

Announcement: Giving Up is Coming Soon!

It’s Ready

After years of gathering ideas, studying Scripture, preaching “The Money Talk”, collecting three decades worth of wisdom…and months of writing and re-writing, the book is finished. 

We took our final pass at it with our red pens and now it lives with the publisher and then onto the printer…and then I […]

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