All posts from “Preaching, application”

Have We Forgotten the “Foolishness of Preaching?”

October 28, 2013 9:19 AM

I sat over espresso with a friend this summer. Being passionate about such things, we talked about churches. He’d just come from a conversation with a mutual friend, the lead pastor of a rural Midwest congregation. The topic of...

Friday Five Interview: Jon Acuff

June 28, 2013 5:00 AM

For today's entry in the Friday Five interview series, we catch up with Jon Acuff. Jon is a New York Times bestselling author and a popular conference speaker. His blog, Stuff Christians Like, is read by more than 5 million...

Pastors Share Post-Election Sermon Plans

November 8, 2012 2:36 PM

Even as President Barack Obama celebrates being re-elected, it’s clear he faces the monumental task of leading a deeply divided nation. Though the president won a decisive number of the electoral votes, the popular vote told a different story....

Ur Video: Use a Cell, Go to Hell

March 19, 2012 12:00 AM

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Ur Video: Dever Worries "Gospel" Isn't Individual Enough

February 28, 2012 12:00 AM

This interview by Ed Stetzer with Mark Dever caught me by surprise. They're talking about the renewed interest among evangelicals in a "larger gospel" that captures a kingdom theology. Dever sees it as exceedingly dangerous because a focus on doing...

Part 2: The Evangelical Industrial Complex & the Rise of Celebrity Pastors

February 21, 2012 12:00 AM

Read Part 1. This market-driven cycle of megachurches, conferences, and publishers results in an echo chamber where the same voices, espousing the same values, create an atmosphere where ministry success becomes equated with audience aggregation. (Thankfully there are outliers like...

The Evangelical Industrial Complex & the Rise of Celebrity Pastors (Pt. 1)

February 20, 2012 12:00 AM

Last week Bob Hyatt wrote about the temptations created by the celebrity pastor culture we live in and the harm it causes to our souls. He's not the only one talking about the issue. Both Relevant Magazine and the Together...

Ur Video: N.T. Wright on Genesis 1...Literally

February 17, 2012 12:00 AM

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The Dangerous Pursuit of Pastoral Fame

February 13, 2012 12:00 AM

As my chiropractor was working me over yesterday, she was asking about the reading I’m doing for a degree I’m working on. After I rattled off the titles and subjects of a number of leadership books, she said, “Wow, what...

Celebrity Pastors, Bloggers, and Questions of Authority

February 2, 2012 12:00 AM

Shoot the Wolves from Harvest Bible Chapel on Vimeo. Above is a video from last year’s Elephant Room. The clip highlights a panel of popular pastors discussing the behavior of perceived “wolves” in the church and in Christian media. During...

Listening to Tullian Tchividjian at the Jacksonville Pastor's Conference

January 26, 2012 9:40 PM

I'm blogging semi-live live from the Jacksonville Pastor's Conference and it's the first time I've heard Tullian Tchividjian speak. Here's one thing for certain about Tullian: he's passionate and clear about one thing—the gospel. And for Tullian the good news...

Is Video Preaching on the Decline?

December 21, 2011 12:00 AM

'Tis the season for presents, and parties, and pageants, and...predictions. At the end of every year we often speculate about what the future will bring. What trends will gain momentum, and which have 'jumped the shark.' Sam Rainer, president of...

Ur Video: Francis Chan's Warning to Young Pastors

November 18, 2011 12:00 AM

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Ur Video: Mark Driscoll says "God Hates You"

November 8, 2011 12:00 AM

This clip of a sermon by Mark Driscoll has been getting a lot of play. Never mistaken for being soft or indirect, Driscoll shares his concern that too many people are editing God by picking which of his attributes they...

Nov/Dec Catalyst Leadership: The Gospel in Focus

October 24, 2011 12:00 AM

The latest edition of our free digital magazine, Catalyst Leadership, is now online. In this issue we have almost doubled the number of pages and articles, and with all of that new space we're tackling a critically important question:...

Out of Context: Eugene Peterson

September 8, 2011 12:00 AM

"If people don't know their pastor, it's easy to put the pastor on a pedestal and depersonalize him or her. It's also easy for pastors, who don't know their congregations, simply to classify congregants as saved or unsaved, involved or...

Sep/Oct Catalyst Leadership Now Available

August 25, 2011 12:00 AM

The latest issue of our free digizine, Catalyst Leadership, is now available online. This time we're covering "Authority Issues." You'll hear from authors like Eugene Peterson, Richard Foster, Charles Swindoll, Andy Stanley, and Skye Jethani. As always, we've included some...

Ur Video: The King Jesus Gospel

August 22, 2011 12:00 AM

It seems everyone has an answer for the exodus of young people from the church. We're too homophobic, too irrelevant, too age-segmented, too boring, or too consumerist. But Scot McKnight's explanation goes far deeper. He thinks we have fundamentally misunderstood...

Did Jesus Preach the Gospel?

August 1, 2011 12:00 AM

Prepare yourselves for the onslaught. Scot McKnight is venturing into the "What Is the Gospel?" war that's been waging between the Neo-Calvinists and...well, everyone else. McKnight's new book, due out later this month, is The King Jesus Gospel: The...

Ur Video: In Memory of John Stott

July 29, 2011 12:00 AM

"The evangelical world has lost one of its greatest spokesmen, and I have lost one of my close personal friends and advisors. I look forward to seeing him again when I go to Heaven." -Billy Graham For more on...

Authority or Influence

July 15, 2011 12:00 AM

As a pastor, I have authority in my community. But authority is not really what I want. What I really want is influence. Authority is the ability to get people to do what I think they should do. Influence, however,...

Pastoral Authority: Earned, Taken, or Granted?

July 11, 2011 12:00 AM

Pastor. In the eight years since this label first applied to me, it has been fascinating to notice who uses it and who doesn’t. The church that first entrusted the title to me was suburban, predominately white, and largely middle-aged....

Ur Video: John Dickson on Humility

July 7, 2011 12:00 AM

The next Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit is around the corner (August 11-12). For those of you unfamiliar with the event, its list of speakers (or "faculty" as the WCA likes to call them) has tended to follow a tried...

Blessed Redundancy

June 29, 2011 12:00 AM

I like airplanes, and given the amount I travel that is a good thing. Seeing these incredible machines--aluminum and composite monuments of human ingenuity--makes the atrocities of most American airports almost bearable. (My genetically tanned, ambiguously ethnic appearance must scream...

Ur Video: The Succession Dilemma

June 27, 2011 12:00 AM

Tim Keller and John Piper both lead very large churches. But what happens when they eventually leave their posts? It's a question that is facing many megachurches given that most were started by Baby Boomer leaders who are now entering...

The Pastor's Speech

May 5, 2011 12:00 AM

By now you are aware that The King's Speech has won the Academy Award for best picture. The film chronicles the King of England's stuttering problem and how he overcomes it. The movie hit home for Dan Wallis, assistant pastor...

Our Journey toward Women in Leadership (Part 2)

March 23, 2011 12:00 AM

I described in a previous post how our church community shifted from a complementarian view of women in ministry to…well…something different. Of course we had to deal with 1 Timothy 2:11–12, which seems to bar women from leadership in the...

Our Journey toward Women in Leadership (Part 1)

March 9, 2011 12:00 AM

I was raised and educated in church communities and traditions that held a complementarian view of women in ministry. So when I helped plant Evergreen, our community here in Portland, I did so with complementarian values. My original vision for...

Ur Video: Women in Ministry (Part 3)

February 24, 2011 12:00 AM

N.T. Wright is one of the more popular theologians today. When his views about the atonement are not stirring debate, then perhaps his understanding of the role of women in ministry will. In this video, Wright outlines the prominent role...

Ur Video: Women in Ministry (Part 2)

February 23, 2011 12:00 AM

The church is a family, and God has designated men to be the head of the family. That is the argument put forth by Bill Kynes in this Gospel Coalition video defending a complementarian understanding of the sexes. Does it...

Ur Video: Women in Ministry (Part 1)

February 21, 2011 12:00 AM

10 percent of Protestant senior pastors are women. That number has doubled in the last decade. But the issue is still debated and divisive. What role should women have in church leadership? Are certain responsibilities given to only men in...

Furtick Uses 24-Hour Sermon to "Pimp" Book

September 27, 2010 12:00 AM

On September 21-22, Steven Furtick preached for 24 hours for an online audience of thousands. The senior pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, focused his hermeneutic marathon on the topic of “audacious faith.” And it’s not a coincidence...

I Need to Cover My Mouth when I Preach

August 20, 2010 12:00 AM

I love and hate the book of Job. I love it because it poses challenging pastoral questions—like being tested by God or God’s tolerance for the devil—but I hate it because it challenges my understanding of what it means to...

Ur Video: Driscoll's Scatalogical Humor

June 11, 2010 12:00 AM

Earlier this week, Collin Hansen warned about the growing popularity and risks of using humor in the pulpit. I thought an illustration was called for. Mark Driscoll uses humor frequently, among other communication tactics, to convey his messages. Here is...

The Hansen Report: Comedy in the Pulpit

June 9, 2010 12:00 AM

I love to laugh. And when I laugh, you’ll hear me if you’re in the same zip code. I have a few all-time favorite comedy TV shows that I can watch over and over again. And I enjoy funny...

Ted Haggard: Back in the Saddle

June 2, 2010 12:00 AM

Back on May 18, Religion News Service reported that Ted Haggard filed business documentation with Colorado’s secretary of state to incorporate a nonprofit called “St. James Church.” The address listed on the documents was the same as Ted and Gayle...

Francis Chan Gives Up

May 28, 2010 12:00 AM

In your new book you write, "I cannot convince people to be obsessed with Jesus, and that's why you need the Holy Spirit." When did you come to that realization? Once you pastor for a while, it dawns on you...

The Hansen Report: Reflections of a Recent Seminary Graduate

May 19, 2010 12:00 AM

Spring weather means graduation is coming, ushering in a season of new beginnings for students finishing high school, college, and graduate school. After three years of seminary, I’m a master of divinity. At least that’s what the diploma will...

What "I'm Not Being Fed" Really Means (Part 1)

April 26, 2010 12:00 AM

This article comes from our friends at PreachingToday.com. Check out more on PT blog. I have a confession to make. I am fed up with hearing people say, "I'm not being fed." While I do not hear it often, the...

Narrative or Doctrine- What Should You Teach?

March 29, 2010 12:00 AM

Last weekend I attended Spark, a children's ministry conference near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The theme of the conference was "The Art of Storytelling." I think you'd be hard pressed to find a keynote speaker better suited to speak on that topic...

Holy Holograms!

March 3, 2010 12:00 AM

Clark, a media technology company that supplies churches, is pioneering holographic technology that can create a life-size, three dimensional projection of a preacher on a platform. Blogger Tony Morgan was given a preview at Clark’s offices near Atlanta. He writes,...

Ur Video: Ed Young Jr. says "U.B.U."

February 19, 2010 12:00 AM

Ed Young Jr., the eccentric pastor from Fellowship Church in Dallas (remember the "7 Day Sex Challenge" sermon he preached from a bed rather than a pulpit?), is reaching out to other pastors with a message on the dangers of...

Rob Bell on the Dangers of Video Preaching

February 15, 2010 12:00 AM

He once planted a church by teaching through Leviticus. He can use a rabbit carved from a bar of soap to illustrate the nature of suffering. Google his name and the term "Sex God" will appear among the top...

Catalyst One Day- Chicago

January 26, 2010 12:00 AM

March 25, 2010 at Willow Creek Community Church Early Registration Ends Thursday, January 28 Go to www.catalystoneday.com and use the Rate Code: BLOG for a special $99 discounted rate. Catalyst One Day features Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel in...

The Golden Canon Leadership Book Awards

January 19, 2010 12:00 AM

Two things in short supply for nearly every church leader—time and money. Unfortunately both are necessary if we hope to buy and read the numerous books intended to help us in our work. That is why Leadership created the...

Interview with a Street Preacher

January 4, 2010 12:00 AM

In response to my recent Out of Ur lament about street preachers, many Urbanites vigorously defended those who take to the streets to preach. I’m used to dissenting opinions here at Ur, but I was surprised by how many spoke...

John Calvin on Tradition

December 11, 2009 12:00 AM

‘Tis the season to think about traditions. Every family has its own non-negotiable holiday rituals. If your family’s like mine, you may have competing visions of the perfect holiday under one roof (or tent, or banyan tree—or whatever your family...

Preaching for the Nod

November 17, 2009 12:00 AM

Every once in a while I find myself preaching for the nod. That’s when we try to hard wire a bit of ego-stroke into a Sunday morning message. We do it a lot, and it’s so easy—insert that small comment,...

Separated at Birth?

November 12, 2009 12:00 AM

A few days ago, Drew Dyck (managing editor of BuildingChurchLeaders.com) sent an email to Skye Jethani (managing editor of Leadership Journal) asking to borrow a book by Dave Ferguson. Drew parenthetically commented that Ferguson looked like Edward Norton the actor....

Video Venues and Multi-Sites: Can We Please Move On?

November 5, 2009 12:00 AM

May I vent for a moment? If I stumble onto another blog, article, or conference advertisement for anything having to do with video venues or multi-site models of church growth, I just might lose it. Everywhere I look within our...

Create-A-Caption Contest

October 13, 2009 12:00 AM

Do you ever feel like church activities, which are intended to promote God's mission, are actually keeping you from promoting God's mission? We're eager to see your captions for this cartoon by Roger Judd. Winners will be published in the...

Ur Video: Catalyst High-Dive Stunt

October 9, 2009 2:04 PM

> Professor Splash dives 35 feet into a kiddie pool with 1 foot of water....

David Kuo on Big Ideas and What Really Changes the World

October 7, 2009 3:28 PM

When the Republicans went to Washington about a decade ago, their mantra was “we’re going to change Washington, not let Washington change us.” Nice idea, but it didn’t exactly turn out that way. David Kuo, former Special Assistant to...

Catalyst Day 1: The Green Room

October 7, 2009 9:50 AM

Catalyst is here. We'll be blogging for the next three days from the event in Atlanta. While the main event starts tomorrow, today the pre-conference "Labs" will feature multiple tracks and a lot of speakers/leaders. We'll be in and...

Jonathan Edwards on the New Reformed Movement

October 5, 2009 12:00 AM

If he hadn’t died from a tainted smallpox vaccination in 1758, Jonathan Edwards would be celebrating his 306th birthday today--Monday, October 5. When Edwards died, at the relatively young age of 55, he was one of the best known pastor-theologians...

Ur Video: Stetzer & Hirsch on Multi-Site

October 1, 2009 12:00 AM

Key ideas: Stetzer--Is multi-site being used to give great communicators a larger audience, or is it being used to raise up more communicators? Stetzer--Multi-site isn't a big phenomenon in post-Christian settings. It's much more popular among Christians willing to...

Ur Video: Q & A with Craig Groeschel

September 24, 2009 12:00 AM

In just a few weeks we'll be down in Atlanta for the Catalyst Conference. And we're excited to announce that Out of Ur will be the official blog for the event. We'll be posting throughout the conference with exclusive...

Ur Video: Francis Chan on Being a Prophet

September 17, 2009 12:00 AM

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3 Myths about Preaching Today

September 16, 2009 12:00 AM

As I have traveled these past few years, I’ve heard the repetitive refrain from despondent pastors: “I always thought that if I preached a good sermon the church would grow.” I heard it again last week so I thought I’d...

Video Ur: Perry Noble on Multi-Site Churches

September 9, 2009 12:00 AM

The validity of video-based preaching has been a matter of debate on this blog. Some, like Bob Hyatt, are critical of the trend believing it puts even greater distance between the teacher and the taught. In addition, projecting one preacher...

Join Us at Catalyst in Atlanta

August 27, 2009 12:00 AM

This year's Catalyst Conference (October 7-9) will include a lab track hosted by Skye Jethani, Leadership's managing editor, featuring Nancy Ortberg, Mark Batterson, Reggie McNeal, and Scott Belsky. He will also host the evening “unplugged” lab session with Matt...

Bill Hybels on "Leading in the New Reality"

August 7, 2009 7:57 AM

Opening illustration: Ship captains will sail if waves are 3 feet, 6 feet, or even 9 feet high; but what they fear are rogue waves--the unexpected high wave. All of us in organizational leadership this past 8 months have been...

Ur Video: John Piper Says Video Hurts Preaching

July 28, 2009 12:00 AM

Everyone knows that John Piper believes in the supremacy of preaching, but what about augmenting the spoken word with video clips or dramas? In this short video Piper answers that question. Here's an excerpt: "I think the use of video...

Scot McKnight: The Story Called Us

June 24, 2009 8:42 AM

At the end of his lecture and after answering a smattering of questions, the pristine and aged New Testament scholar, Bruce Metzger, asked Doug Moo if he could share something on his heart to the seminary students gathered that day....

Advance 09: The Conclusion

June 9, 2009 8:00 AM

The final day and a half of Advance 09 built upon the themes started on the first day, brought another talk from Mark Driscoll, and marked the arrival of the Baptists - researcher and author Ed Stetzer, local Durham pastor...

Live from Advance 2009

June 5, 2009 10:10 AM

A few months back, I noticed that a big conference featuring John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Ed Stetzer and others, and sponsored by the Acts 29 Network, was coming to a neighboring city. I don't quite consider myself Reformed enough to...

Preach Dirty to Me

June 2, 2009 12:00 AM

For a couple of years now, long-time pastor and theologian John MacArthur has been critical of Mark Driscoll's use of crude language in the pulpit. In the end, MacArthur believes Driscoll has crossed a line, and it's time for him...

The Moody Conference--Upon Further Reflection

May 20, 2009 10:02 PM

My post from yesterday elicited a couple of comments asking for further information about the Moody Pastors' Conference going on this week. It wasn't my intention to be unhelpful, but I was. So, thanks, Jarrod and PastorM. You asked good...

Live from Moody: First Impressions

May 19, 2009 3:57 PM

Skye and I are at reFOCUS, Moody Bible Institute's pastors' conference, this week. Skye is leading a breakout session, and I'm making the rounds to see what's what. This is my first time at a Moody event. The last conference...

Sermon Prep Survey

April 13, 2009 8:58 AM

Our friends over at PreachingToday.com are doing a little research. They're eager to know how sermon preparation differs from one generation to the next--in particular, how do folks under 35 and over 35 approach their sermon prep? So they've created...

Join Us at Catalyst West Coast

April 6, 2009 12:00 AM

Leadership editors Marshall Shelley and Brandon O’Brien, as well as yours truly, will be attending the Catalyst West Coast event April 22-24, and we’d love to connect with a few Urbanites. If you’re planning to be there, give us a...

The Next Caption Contest

February 19, 2009 12:00 AM

What is your caption for this cartoon by Jonny Hawkins? Winning entries will be published in the Spring 2009 edition of Leadership. Please include your name, your church’s name, city, and state....

A Good Text is Hard to Find

January 6, 2009 9:07 AM

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Cartoon: Doctrine

November 25, 2008 12:00 AM

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The Next Caption Contest

November 10, 2008 12:00 AM

What is your caption for this cartoon by Rob Portlock? Winning entries will be published in the Winter 2009 edition of Leadership. Please include your name, your church’s name, city, and state....

We're Going to Catalyst

September 30, 2008 12:00 AM

Next week I'm sending two Urthlings, Marshall Shelley and Skye Jethani, to the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta. They'll be blogging live from the event October 8 - 10, and mixing it up with 15,000 other church leaders. Whether you’re...

Pastors Defy the IRS

September 29, 2008 12:00 AM

This election season, a group of about 30 pastors plans to challenge the IRS law that prohibits churches from endorsing a political candidate from the pulpit. As part of the "Pulpit Initiative," organized by the Alliance Defense Fund, many of...

Cartoon: An Unusual Spiritual Gift

September 15, 2008 12:00 AM

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Out of Context: Efrem Smith

September 4, 2008 12:00 AM

"People cannot tell the difference between a conservative evangelical message and Rush Limbaugh, or a mainline Protestant message and Howard Dean. Because of the media, any news item related to a major social issue...is politicized in 24 hours. By...

"Have to" or "Want to" Sermons?

September 3, 2008 8:02 AM

As men and women created in the image of God, believers are designed to become like Christ in ever-increasing measure. Effective, biblical preaching taps into this innate longing by helping people envision what God created us to be in Christ....

Cartoon: Am I Called to Preach?

September 2, 2008 12:00 AM

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The Dark Blight

August 29, 2008 12:00 AM

by Skye Jethani Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, Batman! I've been meaning to write a post about The Dark Knight for...

The Wright Brothers (in Christ)

August 15, 2008 12:00 AM

Recently I was asked where theology was headed. I assured my reader that I wasn't "in the know" but that I would hazard a guess or two. First I thought we were likely to see a more robust Trinitarian theology,...

The Next Caption Contest

August 4, 2008 8:00 AM

What are your captions for this cartoon by Tim Walburg? Winning entries will be published in the Fall 2008 edition of Leadership. Please include your name, your church’s name, city, and state....

Cartoon: Biblical Literacy

July 21, 2008 9:10 AM

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Cartoon: Fish Food

July 7, 2008 12:00 AM

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Out of Context: James Gilmore

May 29, 2008 12:00 AM

"To me, the church should not aim to be 'real' as an end. The church is there to proclaim truth. Trying to be hip and cool and real does a disservice to the church. We're not called to be...

Audio Ur: Tim Keller's Gospel

May 28, 2008 12:00 AM

Is there only one gospel? And what is the difference between the gospel message and the implications of that message? Can we preach one without the other? In this podcast Skye Jethani , David Swanson , and Matt Tebbe...

Why We're Rethinking the Gospel

May 27, 2008 12:00 AM

Our friends over at Preaching Today have launched a new series on preaching the gospel. They're asking, "Is our gospel too small, or is it too big?" and "What does it mean to preach the gospel in today's culture." They've...

Cartoon: Team Leadership

May 26, 2008 12:00 AM

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The Next Caption Contest

May 1, 2008 12:00 AM

What are your captions for this cartoon by Tim Walburg? Winning entries will be published in the Summer 2008 edition of Leadership. Please include your name, your church’s name, city, and state....

Out of Context: Tim Keller

April 24, 2008 12:00 AM

"Today there are many who doubt that there is just one gospel. That gives them the warrent to ignore the gospel of atonement and justification. There are others who don't like to admit that there are different forms to...

N. T. Wright on the Resurrection

March 20, 2008 12:00 AM

At the National Pastors Conference in San Diego, our friend at PreachingToday.com, Brian Lowery, got to interview N. T. Wright about his latest book - Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church - and...

Out of Context: John M. Buchanan

March 6, 2008 12:00 AM

"Preachers need to be very careful before claiming they are God's mouthpiece. I think the preacher needs to be suggestive and not declarative. There are times in history when people (like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King) were called with...

Let the Work Begin

March 4, 2008 11:59 AM

The pastors who attended last week's National Pastors Convention have now returned to their churches across North America. David Swanson presents his final reflections on the convention and the issues it brought to his attention. Now that the National...

The Glory and the Grief

February 28, 2008 2:42 PM

In his second report from the National Pastors Convention, David Swanson describes how two Anglican bishops helped him recognize Christ's presence among all the convention glitz and kitsch. May I confess something? I've experienced a bit of cynicism at...

Canadian Sermon Types, eh?

February 21, 2008 12:00 AM

And now for something completely different... Neil Young, who pastors Erindale United Church in Mississauga, Ontario, sent us this inventory of sermon styles in the Great White North. The Maple Syrup: Boils source material down to about 1/50th its starting...

The Next Caption Contest

February 7, 2008 12:00 AM

What are your captions for this cartoon by Dennis Fletcher? Winning entries will be published in the Spring 2008 edition of Leadership. Please include your name, your church’s name, city, and state....

Out of Context: Tim Keel

January 28, 2008 12:00 AM

"In the modern world, we tend to reduce the complexity and diversity of the Scriptures to simple systems, even when our systems flatten the diversity and integrity of the biblical witness. We reduce our sermons to consumer messages that reduce...

Heresy on Tour?

November 26, 2007 12:00 AM

Since late September blogs have been buzzing about Mark Driscoll's remark at the Convergent Conference labeling Rob Bell a heretic. Bell's broad popularity (due primarily to his books, NOOMA videos, and podcasts) make Driscoll's accusation all the more serious....

Preaching to Express, not Impress

November 15, 2007 12:00 AM

Fred Smith was featured in the very first issue of Leadership published in 1980. Since then the businessman, Bible teacher, and sage as written more than 37 articles, and his insights have guided thousands of pastors. Fred's definition of leadership...

Glimpses of Glory

October 15, 2007 12:00 AM

We live in a dark world. Our hearts long for goodness, beauty, justice, and peace, but they are often hidden behind the shadow cast by evil and sin. This is why preaching is so necessary. Whenever the kingdom of God...

The Gap between Rhetoric and Reality

September 21, 2007 12:00 AM

You may think writing a sermon every week is challenging work, but imagine writing speeches everyday for the leader of the free world. That was Michael Gerson's job for six years under President George W. Bush. Last night I attended...

The Tech Effect

August 14, 2007 12:00 AM

Twenty-five years ago, the film Tron was a revolution - the first movie to use digital animation extensively. But critics almost universally panned the movie. One said, "Tron is loaded with visual delights but falls way short of the mark...

Out of Context: Will Willimon

August 7, 2007 12:00 AM

"The modern, essentially atheistic mentality despises mystery and considers enchantment and befuddlement an affront to its democratic right to know--and then use--everything for purposes of individual fulfillment. This flattened mind loves lists, labels, solutions, sweeping propositions, and practical principles. The...

The Ever-Changing Message

August 2, 2007 12:00 AM

Our friends at FaithVisuals.com recently spoke with Shane Hipps, author of The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture. We posted part one of the discussion last month where Hipps uncovered the ways electronic media affect our messages, and how it can...

The Next Caption Contest

July 31, 2007 12:00 AM

What are your captions for this cartoon by Rob Portlock? We know Out of Ur and Leadership readers will have some great ones on this theme. Winning entries will be published in the Fall 2007 edition of Leadership. Please include...

Out of Context: Mike Breen

June 1, 2007 12:00 AM

"In most evangelical environments, including mine, we have been overwhelmed with models and programs that are designed for local churches to grow bigger. Unfortunately, most really don't work...Many have also come to define Christianity by a set of beliefs. Churches...

The Next Caption Contest

May 3, 2007 12:00 AM

What are your captions for this cartoon by Dik LaPine? We know Out of Ur and Leadership readers will have some great ones on this theme. Winning entries will be published in the Summer 2007 edition of Leadership. Please include...

Out of Context: John Ortberg

April 24, 2007 12:00 AM

"If I'm to preach to people effectively, I must be freed from my need for their approval and applause. As long as I am chained to that need, then my preaching will really be trying to fill up something in...

Out of Context: Mark Batterson

March 16, 2007 12:00 AM

"Maybe the central task of a worship leader is to keep worship from becoming routine? Maybe the central task of a teaching pastor is to keep the Bible from becoming routine? Maybe the central task of a lead pastor is...

Out of Context: Tony Jones

February 8, 2007 12:00 AM

"Modern Christianity has emphasized the immanence of our Savior, but, pushed too far, we are in danger of making the God of the universe little more than our buddy." -Tony Jones is coordinator of Emergent Village. Taken from "Prayer Beyond...

The Ten Deadly Sins of Preaching

February 7, 2007 12:00 AM

Monday was a great day to leave Chicago. The wind-chill was thirty degrees below zero and the Bears had just lost the Super Bowl. This week I'm in sunny San Diego for the National Pastors Convention. Although the main sessions...

Preaching the Word in an Image–Oriented Culture

January 31, 2007 12:00 AM

My childhood church had a silver cross suspended in the sanctuary. It was the visual focus of our worship. I recently returned to the church and the cross was still there, but few people notice it anymore. A large...

Create-A-Caption

January 30, 2007 12:00 AM

When we ask subscribers what they love most about Leadership, we often hear the same answer: "the cartoons." That's why we are pleased to bring this lighter side of ministry to Out of Ur. Here is your chance to share...

Out of Context: John Beukema

November 30, 2006 12:00 AM

"Ultimately, every text is about God. To focus constantly on the how can subtly influence our perspective of Scripture. For example, the awe-inspiring scene from Isaiah 6:1-4 should probably not become a sermon on 'How to Meet with God.'" -John...

Out of Context: Will Willimon

September 21, 2006 12:00 AM

This month Out of Ur is starting a new feature called "Out of Context." Each week we will post a quote from an article in the current issue of Leadership Journal that may cause you to ruminate, cogitate, or possibly...

Jesus Leaders Part 2: Pastors at their best

September 18, 2006 12:00 AM

What makes a good pastor? In seminary I was told a good pastor knows Greek and Hebrew. Church elders told me a good pastor keeps the budget in the black and people in the pews. In part two of his...

Jesus Leaders: What pastors were meant to be

September 12, 2006 12:00 AM

Pastors have an image problem. Despite the growing number of celebrity pastors on television, radio, and bookstore shelves, the wider culture's respect for clergy has been declining for generations. Jim Martin, pastor of Crestview Church of Christ in Waco, Texas,...

The Danger of Practical Preaching Part 2: Allowing scripture to civilize our thinking

September 7, 2006 12:00 AM

Lee Eclov thinks people need more than helpful applications in a sermon. Rather than being told what to do in three easy step, Eclov argues that good preaching should teach people how to think differently. In the first part of...

The Danger of Practical Preaching: Why people need more than the bottom line

September 5, 2006 12:00 AM

Many of the largest and "most successful" churches have built their ministries on the value of practicality. As a result, Christians today have come to expect spiritual formation by numbers: 5 love languages, 7 steps to healing, 40 days of...

Word for Word: what is driving pastors to plagiarize?

August 1, 2006 12:00 AM

The New York Times ran the story last week of a high-profile pastor busted for plagiarizing sermons, and his congregation's willingness to forgive him. Trying to explain what led to his behavior, Rev. Jackson says: "It's a pattern you get...

The Myth of Expository Preaching (part 3): responding to Scripture as a community

July 28, 2006 12:00 AM

In his final post outlining an alternative to expository preaching, David Fitch invites us to think differently about how we respond to Scripture. Rather than three alliterated application points, why not a liturgical response? And instead of preaching that targets...

The Myth of Expository Preaching (part 2): proclamation that inspires the imagination

July 25, 2006 12:00 AM

David Fitch is back to explain why he believes expository preaching is a myth that is hindering the full potential of the pulpit. In part one of his post Fitch said expository preaching has led to the commodification of Scripture....

The Myth of Expository Preaching & the Commodification of the Word

July 3, 2006 12:00 AM

The summer issue of Leadership, due in mailboxes soon, will focus on the impact of consumerism on our faith and ministries. To get the conversation started, in this post, pastor/professor and regular Ur contributor David Fitch discusses how expository preaching...

Video Venues and the Papacy of Celebrity: Why changing the methods always changes the message

June 28, 2006 12:00 AM

Most people spend a significant part of the week looking at screens; television screens, movie screens, computer screens - in fact, you're looking at one right now. But traditionally Sunday morning was not a screen-time. Then came PowerPoint. First the...

Brian McLaren’s Inferno 3: five proposals for reexamining our doctrine of hell

May 11, 2006 12:00 AM

In this final installment of his interview on hell, Brian McLaren provides more insight into how he understands the teachings of Jesus, and offers five suggestions for rethinking our traditional understanding of hell. Let me offer five suggestions on how...

Brian McLaren’s Inferno 2: are we asking the wrong questions about hell?

May 8, 2006 12:00 AM

In part one of this post, Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo tried to deconstruct the traditional evangelical view of hell. Here, McLaren continues to outline his view as neither universalism nor an exclusivist understanding of hell. And he pushes us...

Brian McLaren’s Inferno: the provocative church leader explains his view of hell

May 5, 2006 12:00 AM

No contributor to Out of Ur has elicited more responses than Brian McLaren. Part of McLaren's appeal is his courage to rethink long-held evangelical assumptions and call the church to shed the baggage of modernity. Brian's critics, however, accuse him...

Drama King: one pastor drops preaching entirely for dramas

April 25, 2006 12:00 AM

For decades churches have been experimenting with forms of communication, and one of the hallmarks of seeker churches has been the use of dramas in worship gatherings. It should come as no surprise that a church named Hot Metal Bridge...

What Would Jesus Preach?: Telling the Truth in Church

February 28, 2006 12:00 AM

If Jesus walked into your church this Sunday and preached, what would he say? That's a question pastor Jim Martin has asked on his blog, A Place for the God-Hungry. Jim is pastor of Crestview Church of Christ in Waco,...

Marketing Narnia 2: Is That a Mouse in Your Pulpit?

December 6, 2005 2:46 PM

Just when I thought commercialism in the church couldn't get any worse I read this from the Philadelphia Inquirer: Attention, pastors: You have just four weeks remaining to work a lion, a witch or a wardrobe into your next sermon....

Campolo and McLaren 3: Unorthodox Questions

December 1, 2005 12:00 AM

Brian McLaren has been proclaiming the need for a different, more generous approach to orthodoxy. His critics say "generous orthodoxy" is an oxymoron that exemplifies the problem with the postmodern church. In part three of our interview, McLaren explains what...

Should I Rock the House or Preach the Word?

October 13, 2005 3:22 PM

Ben Folds' song "Rock Star" includes these lyrics: You need their approval To tell you you're cool Hey, but look how you pay for it Give the people what they want You've got to give the people what they want...

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