16 Things You Can do this Week to Get Unstuck in Your Sermon Prep

Unstuck blog graphic

Do you ever get stuck in a sermon prep rut? I do. Sometimes the sermon comes together like a beautifully crafted work of art. But other times I struggle to make progress in my study. It’s hard to break out of sermon prep stuck-ness. I’ve learned a few things that help me overcome these stuck times, and I want to share them with you. Here’s 16 things you can do this week to get unstuck in your sermon prep: Continue Reading →

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4 Must Do’s of Using Illustrations

Blog Graphic - Preaching Donkey illustrations

As a preacher you want to make your ideas come alive. When you labor preparing a message and perfectly craft your points you’re not thinking, I’m sure this will be altogether unremarkable, but I’ll give it a try. No, you’re thinking, How can I make them see this and feel it and be changed by it? Continue Reading →

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Five Things I Learned From Gary Thomas About Preaching

Blog Graphic - Preaching Donkey gary thomas

Recently my church hosted the Sacred Marriage Conference with Gary Thomas, bestselling author of Sacred Marriage, Sacred Search and others. My wife and I gleaned some helpful insights from Gary’s teaching over the weekend, and it was nice to meet him personally.

During the conference I listened to about five hours of his speaking. It struck me toward the end of the weekend that I enjoyed his teaching so much that I wasn’t getting tired of him. This is a rare quality in a speaker and one that we can learn from as preachers. He had some approaches and techniques that set him apart as a communicator.  I observed five things that we can glean from his approach that will make us better preachers. Some of these are standard best-practices of public speaking, but his execution of them was excellent.

Five Things I Learned From Gary Thomas About Preaching Continue Reading →

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The Notes I Have With Me While I Preach

notes I have with me

In my last post I responded to a question from a reader regarding how I outline my sermons. This week I want to answer the second part of his question about and what I use for notes while I preach. Here is the original question:

Good morning Lane,

First off want to thank you for all of the work put into the blog and podcasts. I’ve personally found a lot of the content very helpful. I preach on close to a monthly basis and am a volunteer youth leader, so I teach youth on a monthly basis as well. I was interested in learning more about your method of outlining your sermon. I’ve been following a manuscript method because that’s how I’ve learned, however I find I never really stay on it and have a difficult time finding my place afterward. So my question is, what do you find to be the most useful outlining method? What do you take into the pulpit with you? Also, do you have an example of your outline you preach from? Thanks!

What do I take in the pulpit with me? This is something I am curious about with EVERY sermon I watch. I’m always thinking… what’s on that piece of paper? Or what’s in that notebook? Or what’s on that iPad? Or if there’s no notes I’m thinking, “are they hidden where I just can’t see them?” Are there confidence monitors with queues? I want to know! Continue Reading →

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My 4 Step Method for Outlining Sermons

outlines graphic

Recently I received a question from a reader regarding how I outline my sermons and what I use for notes while I preach. I want to share his question and my answer with you. He wrote:

Good morning Lane,

First off want to thank you for all of the work put into the blog and podcasts. I’ve personally found a lot of the content very helpful. I preach on close to a monthly basis and am a volunteer youth leader, so I teach youth on a monthly basis as well. I was interested in learning more about your method of outlining your sermon. I’ve been following a manuscript method because that’s how I’ve learned, however I find I never really stay on it and have a difficult time finding my place afterward. So my question is, what do you find to be the most useful outlining method? What do you take into the pulpit with you? Also, do you have an example of your outline you preach from? Thanks!

I appreciate this question because I am always curious when I watch someone preach what their method is behind the scenes. What do they take to the pulpit with them? How do they decide where to begin and end? Do they write out a manuscript or just outline the main points? To get started, I will address his question about developing an outline. Continue Reading →

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If Christ Didn’t Rise, Preaching is a Waste of Time

preaching waste of time

This Sunday is one of the biggest days of the year for churches. More people will attend church this weekend than any other time except maybe Christmas. Those of us preparing sermons for this Sunday know the pressure that Easter brings. Lots of people will be there who usually do not come. It will be a packed house, and we feel it.

But let’s not lose site of the main thing. When it comes to the things we preachers do… proclaiming the word of God, inviting people to follow Christ, communicating life-changing truths… If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, none of it matters. But if he did rise, it’s all that matters.

Continue Reading →

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