In his book, A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life, author J.I. Packer writes about the centrality and importance of preaching in the process of sanctification. In fact, the Puritan pastor believed they would "never perform a more important task than preaching."  While it has become "our habit to think of … Continue reading Pastoral Work is Preaching Work
Archibald Alexander, in Thoughts Concerning Religious Experience (1844): “Why is there so little advancement made [in living the Christian life]? First, there is a defect in our belief in the freeness of divine grace. To exercise unshaken confidence in the doctrine of gratuitous pardon is one of the most difficult things in the world… Christians cannot but … Continue reading Archibald Alexander on the Pressing Need to Preach Grace
I am a recovering Pharisee who falls off of the wagon all of the time, slipping back into a mode of self-righteous pride (when I think I do well) and insecurity (when I fail, or if someone else does well). So what I need is radically grace-centered preaching to keep my heart in line with the gospel. That … Continue reading And That’s It?
In the opening chapter of John's Gospel, he introduces two individuals: Jesus and (another) John, Jesus' cousin (the one known for baptizing). John the Baptizer grew quite famous as a preacher in those days, and I suppose it could have gone to his head. He could have begun to think that he was important. Indispensable. … Continue reading I Am Not the Christ
This quote from my friend, Charles Spurgeon, gives me great hope in preparing to speak of Jesus this Sunday for Creekstone! “Oh, the power, the melting, conquering, transforming power of that dear cross of Christ! My brethren, we have but to abide by the preaching of it, we have but constantly to tell abroad the … Continue reading The Melting, Conquering, Transforming Power of the Cross
This is part 3 is our series, Advent from 40,000 Feet. The big idea is that the prophets preached God's law to wake us up to the wonder of God's grace. Will you welcome the wake up call? Listen to the message HERE to find out.
Our guest blogger this week is Brian Hedges, lead pastor for Fulkerson Park Baptist Church in Niles, Michigan. This post originally appeared here at the Gospel Coalition. _____________________________________________________________ You'll build a great church, pastor, if you ever learn how to communicate. Listening to that sermon was like drinking from a fire hydrant. I'm so disappointed! … Continue reading Preachers and Their Critics
This is the Creekstone message on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012.
“The Greatest is the Servant” • Matthew 20:20-28 Last week we began a 4-week series, “Wrong Way: 4 Unexpected Principles that Will Turn Your Life Around." Today we are going to look at the second principle that will turn our lives around —> “The Greatest is the Servant” Intro. You've probably never heard of Mike Murphy... So, … Continue reading Sermon Notes for Sept. 9, 2012
Most of us have tried to pack a present in a box that wouldn’t fit. The gospel is that way. We just can't contain it. We never really grasp it. As Paul says, because of the vastness of its dimensions, God's love for his people "surpasses knowledge." “16 I pray that out of his glorious … Continue reading The Gospel Doesn’t Fit in a Box
I've got to go read, but first this... : ) "What has exceedingly hurt you in time past, nay, and I fear, to this day, is want of reading. I scarce ever knew a preacher who read so little. And perhaps, by neglecting it, you have lost the taste for it. Hence your talent in … Continue reading It’s Time to Read
It really is a blessing to have the Appalachian Trail in our community's back yard. There are lots of great hikes in our area. But there are a few hikes that are uniquely beautiful and memorable. One of those is the hike up to the peak of Blood Mtn. As we ascend the summit of … Continue reading For Skeptics, Prodigals and the Wounded: The View Will Be Worth It
Yesterday at the ATL Church Planting Network's monthly gathering, Bob Cargo and Shane Wheeler provided the training segment, focusing on gospel-centered preaching in a post-modern context. Here are ten tips that I gleaned from their helpful presentation. We must exegete both the text and our culture. Continually distinguish the gospel from religion. Always be reading … Continue reading Ten Tips for Post-Modern Preaching
Yesterday I watched a National Geographic documentary on the tombs of Egypt. As archaeologists dug into millennia old burial chambers for relics of that ancient civilization, they used great care as they chiseled, brushed and swept away sandstone debris from their treasures. As I watched, I began thinking of expository preaching. Okay, so I'm a preacher … Continue reading Preaching as Archaeology
I've been preaching and teaching for so long that you'd think I'd have it down by now. 'Fraid not. Even tonight, after the message, I went home thinking, "Man, you made a powerful, simple truth way too complicated. You preached far too long. Just make it simple next time, okay?" Okay, I'll try. But no … Continue reading Sermon & Life Reflections: You’d Think I’d Have It Down By Now
The "Socratic" method of teaching essentially is the inductive method of study—the art of asking good questions. My preaching historically has been deductive, not Socratic. Typically, I have rounded up a number of points and tried to press them home. However, I'm rethinking my strategy, and considering what it will mean to go way back … Continue reading Socratic Preaching
I am reading the late Dr. Jack Miller's book of personal letters entitled, The Heart of a Servant Leader. Oh my, this collection is a treasure of grace and wisdom. In a letter to a preacher friend, Miller says, "I think the chief thing in effective ministry... is the presence of the Spirit in the … Continue reading Preaching as a Bush Aglow
In 1 Corinthians 2, Paul provides the secret to his preaching, saying: "1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and … Continue reading The Secret of Paul’s Preaching
I am looking forward to preaching this Sunday for Christ Community Church in Acworth/Kennesaw, GA, during their missions emphasis month. I'll be teaching from Psalm 40:1-3, a message entitled The Propulsion of Grace. Can't wait to see my CCC friends- we deeply appreciate your prayer and financial support of Creekstone Church in Dahlonega! And yes, I'll … Continue reading Preaching at Christ Community/Acworth this Sunday (and Creekstone)
I stand duly convicted by these words of Jim Cymbala in his book, Fresh Power (p. 46). But my heart echos his. I do not need more of my (in)ability in my sermons, I need more of the Spirit. O Lord, let me pray and preach like the helpless man that I am. "Isn't it … Continue reading The Kind of Preaching We Need Today
I recently read a book by Timothy J. Koegel (thought it was going to be Timothy J. Keller, didn't you!) entitled, The Excellent Presenter. Although not specifically written for preachers, I found the material to be extremely helpful for preparing sermons–and I need all the help I can get! However, I think that it would … Continue reading Recommended Reading for Public Speakers
This is a well-known quote to many from the late Martyn-Lloyd Jones. If more of us would preach like this, I think we'd see more controversy in our churches. But I think we'd also see more conversions and a much greater sense of vitaltiy and renewal among genuine believers. Here goes: "There is no better … Continue reading Radical, Dangerous Preaching
Even though I have been preaching for 15 years, I have a LOT to learn. Reflecting on this morning's sermon at Christ PCA in Clarkesville, GA, I realize a couple of lessons that I still need to learn. If you are a preacher or teacher, maybe this will help. When preaching on a long narrative … Continue reading Lessons Learned from Preaching Today
Here are a few nuggets of gold from one of my living heros, C.J. Mahaney (from an interview from a previous post- see below on the main page of mckaycaston.com). Enjoy. When dealing with folks on the ministry team, especially in the context of worship leadership, encourage with evidences of grace before a critique or … Continue reading Nuggets of Gold from C.J. Mahaney