A Helpful Exercise For My Preaching

Leadership and Ministry

While pastoring is more than preaching, developing my preaching skills is high on my priorities. There is one thing I do that I find is very helpful in this area. I always write out a […]

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Preaching to a Diverse Audience

Leadership and Ministry

I love my church, especially in its diversity. We are have a variety of ethnic groups, ages and people with disabilities. It is something to celebrate but it is also a challenge, especially for preaching. […]

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I Wish I Wrote My Sermons Like This Before

Leadership and Ministry

I am so happy with my new routine for writing sermons. I wish I started doing this twenty years ago. The funny thing is I began this out of necessity. My wife has started at […]

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Apologetics and Preaching

Apologetics and Theology

While I consider myself an apologist, my primary role is that of a pastor of a local church. But I don’t find these roles to be contradictory. I try to include apologetics in my pastoral […]

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31 Days to Become a Better Pastor: Invest in Your Preaching

Pastor

In smaller churches, pastors are equated with preachers. But even in larger churches, many pastors have preaching as one of their responsibilities, although perhaps not every week. After preaching for a number of years, it […]

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A Simple Way to Make Your Church More Accessible

Disability and Faith

When you think about an accessible church, what do you think of? Perhaps the installation of an elevator or a wheelchair ramp. Maybe hearing assisting devices or specially designed washrooms. Those are good but there […]

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Preaching With Cultural Intelligence – Review

Preaching With Cultural Intelligence

As a pastor of a local church who preaches weekly, I’m always looking to improve my craft. This includes reading books on preaching. But how many ways can someone tell you to find the meaning […]

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Four Ways That I Structure Sermons

Sermons

One of my favourite activities as a pastor is the writing and preaching of sermons. I love finding the intersection between biblical truth and the real needs of my congregation. But what should a sermon […]

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How Long Should a Sermon Series Be?

Sermon

I don’t think that there is any one answer to how long a sermon series should be. At the same time, there are some good decisions we can make to help our messages be most […]

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Why I Don’t Preach From a Manuscript

Preach

For many years I preached from a manuscript. There was no way that I was going up to a pulpit with a full manuscript. I actually introduced a welcoming time (passing of the peace) at […]

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The Secret to Living the Christian Life

Sermons

A sermon based on Luke 6:43-49 preached at Queen Street Baptist Church. Introduction When I talk to skeptics about why they reject Christianity, their responses generally fall into two camps. One, which I’m not going to […]

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4 Things You Need to Know About the Resurrection

Sermons

This is the Easter sermon that I preached at Queen Street Baptist Church. Easter Sunday is by far my favourite Sunday of the entire year. Christmas is wonderful with all of the carols and nativities […]

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Pastors Should Take a Compliment

Pastors

I remember the feelings that I experienced as I began my pastoral ministry, especially around the role of preaching. I knew that I had to work hard at writing the message and presenting it in […]

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What is So Triumphal About the Triumphal Entry?

Sermons

A sermon based on Mark 11:1-11 preached at Queen Street Baptist Church. Introduction I have been stuck in traffic many times in my life. Once I was even an hour and a half late for […]

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A Vision for Preaching

Preaching

Now that I am back in pastoral ministry, I am doing some more reading in the area of preaching. One of the books that came my way was A Vision for Preaching: Understanding the Heart […]

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Expository or Topical Preaching?

Preaching

I have attended and visited churches that have different philosophies of preaching. Some churches seem to be purely topical. Each week is a topic such as mental health, finances, prayer and so forth. These can […]

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How I Write a Sermon

Leadership and Ministry

I have been preaching sermons for almost twenty years. Hopefully my skills have developed during that time. I know that I have learned a lot, both through the good responses and the less than good […]

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5 Ways to Preach Apologetically

It is important for pastors to prepare their congregations for apologetic encounters. It may be difficult to get people to an apologetics small group or Sunday school class, but a pastor can still make an […]

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Pastors, Congregations and Expectations

Leadership and Ministry

When people leave a church, the most common reason is, “I just wasn’t being fed.” So they go to some other church where they are fed, until they find another church that will feed them […]

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4 Things for a Preacher to Remember

Preacher

Pulpit ministry is both a tremendous privilege and responsibility. For many people in the congregation, it is their only interaction with the Bible. A pastor cannot take this lightly. It is not enough to just […]

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Preaching With Powerpoint

Leadership and Ministry

I remember when PowerPoint was first introduced into preaching. All that mattered was that you had PowerPoint, it did not matter how you used it. Now people have seen it so often, they know the […]

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Cross Bearing Disciples

Luke 14:27-33 Introduction I’m afraid that the Church in general has not always been completely honest with the people that we have tried to bring in. I don’t think we have been purposely dishonest, but […]

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A Vision For a Healthy Church

This is my final sermon a pastor of First Baptist Church Meaford. Romans 15 Introduction The time has come for my last message to the church.  I wanted to share something that would be helpful […]

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How to Disagree

Romans 14 Introduction In John 17, Jesus prays a prayer for the future church, a prayer that is aimed at us.  In his prayer, Jesus prays for something very specific.  It is not for beautiful […]

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I Can See Clearly Now

Romans 13 Introduction There are a number of moments in my life that were turning points.  One of them was when I got my eyes checked for the first time.  After being encouraged to get […]

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The Power of Love

Romans 12 Introduction There are many things that people of different religions and philosophies disagree on but there is one thing that almost everyone agrees on: the importance of love.  It doesn’t matter of you […]

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Knowing Our Place

Romans 11 Introduction Know your place!  Have you ever heard someone say such a thing?  Such a concept could be terribly abused.  In more innocent forms, it could be used by parents to try and […]

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Preach the Gospel

Sermons

Romans 10 Introduction Pastors are well aware that there are certain subjects that congregations do not like to hear sermons on.  One of those topics is that of hell.  The entire concept of hell is […]

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Let God Be God

Romans 9 Introduction It is very interesting for me to see the change in perspective from being a son to being a father.  This is especially true with regard to ideas of fairness.  Now things […]

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Abundance of Blessings

Romans 8 Introduction What is Christianity all about?  Is Christianity all about bad news or about good news?  I have seen descriptions of churches that were completely about what they were against and not at […]

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Trapped

Romans 7 Introduction Look at your life.  Is it the way you want it to be?  I do not mean do you have the possessions you want or have you accomplished what you want.  I […]

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Being a Slave

Romans 6:15-23 Introduction How do you understand your relationship with God?  Do you see yourself primarily as a worshipper?  That would mean that your main role would be to praise God.  Do you see yourself […]

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Living in Grace Land

Romans 6:1-14 Introduction I believe that there is one question that is essential for all of us to ask: So what?  You say you love your children?  So, what does that look like in reality?  […]

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Two Men and a Sin Baby

Romans 5:12-21 Introduction Why do things happen to us?  Why do we experience some good things and some bad things?  In our society, we pride ourselves in personal autonomy.  We want to believe that things […]

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Peace and Joy

Romans 5:1-11 Introduction I like it when things make sense.  I enjoy it when things are logical and reasonable.  This is the challenge of being a parent.  Amanda and I look at some of the […]

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Father Abraham

Romans 4 Introduction I find family resemblances to be very fascinating.  Physically, I do not look much like my dad.  However, I am now at the age that my dad was when I have some […]

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Now, the Good News

Romans 3:21-31 Introduction What do you want first?  The good news or the bad news?  Whenever I am asked that question, the answer is very easy.  I want the bad news first.  There are a […]

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So, How Bad Are We?

Romans 3:9-20 Introduction So, how bad are we?  Now that is a dangerous question.  Do we really want to ask that?  Imagine putting yourself out there, taking a risk, and doing something outside your comfort […]

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Faithfulness of God

Romans 3:1-8 Introduction Think about the people you know, your family and friends and acquaintances.  What are the virtues that you value and admire most?  There would be things like politeness and kindness and intelligence […]

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Unmasking Religion

Romans 2:17-29 Introduction How do people feel about religion?  My experience is that people are quick to dismiss “organized religion.”  They don’t mind faith in God or even spirituality but they hate organized religion.  There […]

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A Bad Exchange Rate

Romans 1:18-32 Introduction Paul’s letter to the Romans is very much about being in right relationship with God.  No matter what subject he is looking at, he connects it to our relationship with God and […]

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A Gospel of Hope and Power

Romans 1:8-17 Introduction What is it that you are really passionate about?  For many people, it would be family.  We love our spouse, our children and grand children.  Nothing makes us happier than to be […]

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Miracle of the Incarnation

Romans 1:1-7 Introduction What is it that is essential for us to get right?  Do we need to get the style of our worship music right?  Do we need to get the balance of liturgy […]

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Does God Still Heal?

James 5:13-20 Introduction Each Sunday, we have an opportunity to share our prayer requests.  Very often people share requests for physical healing, either for themselves or for their sick loved ones.  Have you ever thought […]

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Things Are Not What They Seem

Luke 25:13-35 Introduction Have you ever been really down in the dumps?  Have you had your plans, your expectations and things went the complete wrong way?  Have you ever been deeply disappointed?  I think that […]

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Patience in Suffering

James 5:7-12 Introduction I want you to imagine the perfect life, the life of comfort and ease where everything goes  according to plan and you always get your way.  I want you to take that […]

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You Poor Rich People

James 5:1-6 Introduction What is the purpose of life?  According to one bumper sticker: “The one who dies with the most toys wins.”  Look at almost every area of life and it would seem to […]

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You Want to Do What?

James 4:13-17 Introduction I am a person who always likes a plan.  By a plan, I don’t mean just some general hopes to one day do such and such.  I like timelines and concrete goals.  […]

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How to Become a Muslim

James 4:1-12 Introduction How to become a Muslim?  Did you come to the right place?  I want to reassure you that I am not preaching a form of Chrislam.  Chrislam is a view that puts […]

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So You Want to Be a Wise Guy?

James 3:13-18 Introduction If you could have any of the God-given abilities of people in the Old Testament, who would you want to be like?  You could be like Abraham and Sarah and be able […]

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Dead Faith

Sermons

James 2:14-26 Introduction One of the distinctives of Christianity is that we believe that salvation is by faith alone.  There is no religious ritual or level of good deeds that will bring about our salvation.  […]

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For Richer and Poorer

James 2:1-13 Introduction I want you to imagine the perfect church.  New people would come in and the church would be completely oblivious to their outward appearance or circumstances.  I don’t mean we wouldn’t care […]

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Hearing and Doing

James 1:19-27 Introduction A long time ago there was a man who was very active in church.  He had a great desire to live a life pleasing to God.  There was only one problem.  He […]

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Trial by Fire

James 1:1-18 Introduction Why do bad things happen to good people?  It is a question that has crossed most of our minds.  We have all seen people, that from our perspective, deserve an easier life […]

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The Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:16-26 Introduction What should the Christian life look like?  That is not an easy question to answer and every tradition has struggled with it.  I can see this in my own church background.  I […]

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The New Covenant

Jeremiah 31:31-34 Introduction I want you to imagine that you were in some serious legal difficulty.  You hire a lawyer and you discover that he is an expert in Canadian law and he has read […]

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A New Start

Sermons

Luke 19:1-10 Introduction New Years is a time for people to think of new beginnings.  People think about losing weight, working out, quitting smoking, picking up a hobby and so on.  That is a good […]

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You Light Up My Life

John 1:1-13 Introduction One of the things that I find very interesting is the near universal fear of darkness, at least at some point in our life.  We do not teach children to fear darkness, […]

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Have Some Faith

Luke 1:5-20, 26-35 Introduction Growing up, I did not realize how easy my parents had it at Christmas.  Since I was an only child, not only was it cheaper to buy presents for only one […]

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Sin is the Reason for the Season

Mark 1:1-8 Introduction What are the images that we have of Christmas?  Probably the typical nativity scene.  We see a proud Joseph and Mary with adoring shepherds and wise men and submissive animals, all surrounding […]

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Which Way to Heaven?

Acts 16:25-34 Introduction There are things about church that you just do not need to know.  You do not need to know why churches started using pews or organs or why other churches have stopped […]

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A New Kind of Worship

Nehemiah 8:1-3 Introduction Imagine if I announced today that we were going to radically change the style of worship in the church.  I don’t just mean a change of songs, moving from traditional hymns to […]

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The Big House

Big House

2 Chronicles 6:1-21 Introduction I was raised as a church-going kid.  But even that statement says something about how we thought.  The Bible speaks of the church as the Christian people but in my mind […]

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Worship Before the Temple

Genesis 12:1-7 Introduction Everything gets more complex over time.  Even though technology improves and there are important advances, the fact is that things get more complicated.  We often hear people talk fondly about the good […]

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What is Worship?

Psalm 95:1-6 Introduction I remember being hired by my first church and being scared of one particular part of my job description.  One of the things that I was expected to do was to be […]

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Love and Understanding

Philippians 1:9-11 Introduction Most people would agree that love is one of, if not the greatest virtue.  Television shows, movies and music are all drawn to the notion of love.  But what is love?  Is […]

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A Pastor’s Prayer

Ephesians 1:15-23 Introduction Who was the Apostle Paul?  Well, he was the author of much of the New Testament.  He was a church planter and missionary.  He was a theologian and a deep thinker.  But […]

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Prayer of a Thankful Mother

1 Samuel 2:1-10 Introduction Why bother praying?  Have you ever wondered how the first person started praying?  In Genesis 4:26, it says in the days of Enosh, son of Seth, son of Adam, that people […]

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ABCs of the Bible

I love the Psalms.  I love the Psalms for numerous reasons.  There is the beauty of the language.  I am not sure there is anything that is more beautiful than the 23rd Psalm.  I love […]

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What Does It Mean to Be Alive?

“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of […]

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Naked Souls and Minds

“To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your deeds, […]

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Rich and Yet Poor

“To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet […]

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Falling Out of Love

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands:I know your deeds, your […]

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Tearing Down Stumbling Blocks

“Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to […]

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What About Sin?

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather […]

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Divided We Fall

“I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be […]

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Twelve That Changed the World

“He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called […]

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Back to the Basics

My “Back to the Basics” message series is now available in its entirety on my web-page.  There are so many things that people talk about when they discuss religion or the Bible. But what do […]

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5 Questions for Effective Communication

I have been enjoying Andy Stanley’s leadership podcast.  It is a great resource that I would highly recommend.  One of the podcasts that I particularly enjoyed was on effective communication.  This would include preaching as […]

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