Saturday, September 30, 2006

Feeling Blah?

Cory Whitehead gives some excellent counsel for us when the 'ministry blahs' come. I especially appreciated the comments about remembering your passion, and fasting to reconnect with the Lord. Recommended!
Quote of the Week

"Remember, for every mile on the road of truth, there are two miles of ditches."
-- Ed Gungor
Fulfilling Our Responsibility

Scott Aughtman asks "What more can I do to fulfill the responsibility I have to the people and area God has called me to?" as he reads Acts 18.

Great Bible Teachers like you work hard to live out the calling of teaching ministry. I applaud you for following hard after God to understand and help others understand His Word. Let's celebrate this ministry, though it is difficult, and encourage one another along the way.

The day is coming when we will hear our Master's testimony about us, and I know you want to hear "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Until then, we are not clear of our responsibility to the people whom God has put around us.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Howard Hendricks on Teaching

Howard Hendricks has shaped thousands of students and tens of thousands of teachers. Take what he says and put it into practice!

Perryisms Worth Repeating

Perry Noble says insightful things in fun ways. Mark Batterson captured these from a recent conference:

"Pastors, I have a word from the Lord. Get rid of the preacher hair."
"I was pagan of the year eight years running."
"Jesus powerwashed my soul."
"We wanted to create a culture where people were more concerned about the condition of your soul than the condition of your wardrobe. We wanted to create a culture where people where more concerned about Scripture than Robert's Rules of Order."
"Church ought to be the most engaging place on the planet. If the tomb is really empty we ought to act like it."
"Get out of his box or let God out of His. He wants to move."
"You better believe we're about numbers. Numbers represent souls."
"Don't shut the backdoor of the church. The church is a body. You shut the back door and you've got problems. You need a Holy Spirit enema."
"If you target the people nobody else wants you won't be able to stop from growing."
"Be more concerned about who is coming in the door than those who are going out the door."
"A church is not effective when a pastor ministers to the people. A church is effective when the body ministers to the body."
"I'm not teaching this church to depend on me. I'm teaching this church to depend on each other."
"People will sit on their blessed assurance as long as you let them." "Your passion is not my burden."
Finally, I love the prayer the New Spring staff prays: "Dear Jesus, Yes. Amen." I love it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Christian Response to Muslim Outrage

John Piper shares some Bible-drenched wisdom about how Christians should respond to the Muslim outrage over the Pope's recent comments. Read it. Study it. Share it.

This would make an excellent topic discussion for a small group Bible study.
Live Life to the Full

Jesus promised that He has come into our lives that we might have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10) We should be brimming over with Jesus-life!

I coach Great Bible Teachers that God will wring lessons in you before He teaches them through you. YOU are the tool He is using, dear friend! So your whole life is important.

Mark Batterson nails this concept:

Preaching and writing are exercises in self-revelation. That is why experienced truth is so important. I don't want to preach sermons I've studied but haven't lived. At the end of the day--you are the message.If you live an interesting life your sermons will be interesting. If you have a sense of humor your sermons will be funny. If you care deeply about people your sermons will make people cry. And as Edward Fischer said, if you are dull your messages will be dull :)
Christianity is Spelled Done

From a sermon by Mark Batterson:

In the words of Bill Hybels, religion is spelled do. Christianity is spelled done.

It is so easy to base our identity on how we look, what we know, or how much we have. In fact, sometimes it is easier to base your identity on the wrong thing when you look better or know more or have more. That was certainly the case with Nebuchadnezzar. But the only sure foundation is basing our identity on what God has done for us at the cross.

In the words of Romans 12:3: “The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by who God is and what God does.”

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Using Time More Effectively

One of the most common excuses (lies we tell ourselves, right?) is that we don't have time to . Check out these excellent time effectiveness tips for people like you who want to be more effective in ministry!
Good Song to Use As A Prayer

Here are the lyrics to the Mercy Me song, "Word of God Speak." This is an excellent prayer for you, dear teacher!

"I'm finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it's okay
The last thing I need is to be heard
But to hear what You would say

Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to seeYour majesty
To be still and know
That You're in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
Word of God speak

I'm finding myself in the midst of You
Beyond the music, beyond the noise
All that I need is to be with You
And in the quiet hear Your voice

I'm finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it's okay"

Monday, September 18, 2006

Two New Audio Answers

Check out my latest answers to questions here and here. Listen to my suggestions about memorizing Scripture and ending a lesson strong.

Friday, September 15, 2006

LifeWay Business Update

You can read about the LifeWay company's business update here.

Why do I point you to this on a blog about Great Bible Teaching? Because LifeWay is one the largest producers of Sunday School and Small Group curriculum available today. (And there is big money in this.)

I'm not advocating their materials specifically, dear teachers, but I know many of my readers use them.
How's Your Prayer Life?

Over the years I've found that asking this question will humble almost everyone: "How's your prayer life? Is it what it should be?" Certainly humbles me!

No matter what your calling as a spiritual leader, you need to be diligent about prayer.

Here's some useful, practical advice from Rick Warren.
Great Quote

“Make us masters of ourselves that we may be the servants of others.” -- Sir Alexander Patterson

There is no question that one of the limiting factors in our ability to be a Great Bible Teacher is the extent of our self-discipline.

"Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." 1 Cor 9:26-27

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Sermon Cloud

I just learned about this cool sermon audio resource, Sermon Cloud. You can search for sermons by keyword, and then download the audio (free). Listeners are "rating" sermons and providing comments.

They also provide services to churches and pastors who wish to upload sermons and syndicate them with RSS. Very slick.
Effective Communication

Tony Morgan relays some key principles to reach an internal audience (one you know). Recommended!
Scripture Memorization

John Piper gives the reasons for memorizing Scripture:

1. Conformity to Christ
2. Daily Triumph over Sin
3. Daily Triumph over Satan
4. Comfort and Counsel for People You Love
5. Communicating the Gospel to Unbelievers
6. Communion with God in the Enjoyment of His Person and Ways

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Learning from the 'Croc Dude

Steve Irwin had a tremendous amount of passion for animals and the natural world. His enthusiasm ("Crikey!") overcame a lot of resistance to learning. Teachers, leaders, and parents -- we need to display our enthusiasm!

I also like what Mark Batterson says:

"In one sense, the way Steve Irwin died was so tragic. Evidently, the barb from a sting ray punctured his heart. But I think the way he died is a reminder and a testament to a something really powerful. I hope this comes across the right way. Every death is tragic no matter how someone dies. But Steve Irwin died doing what he loved to do. That doesn't lessen the grief. But he died the way he lived.I know this sounds morbid, but I want to die doing what I love to do.Some people live their lives as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. I don't have a death wish. I want to live a long life. But if I had to choose between a long life and a full life I'd choose a full life."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Belly Laugh

I just loved this one, had to share.

More Satisfaction in God

John Piper shares 13 ways you can help people become more satisfied in God. Though written to pastors, these are excellent for Bible teachers. For example, "Describe God's value -- his treasures -- in lavish terms." And "Model for the people extended meditation and reflection on the word of God."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Will You Be Irritated By This? Or Excited?

Great Bible Teachers like you are always sharpening communication skills and strategies. We have the most wonderful story in the history of the world to tell!

Check out my review of a new book that's "irritating" some Bible teachers because it challenges their assumptions about how to structure and deliver a message. See if I think all the buzz about this new book is worth your time and attention.
Exegeting Culture

Exegesis is critical examination of text for meaning and insight. It's what we do when we study the Word and draw out as much meaning as we can.

Mark Batterson has excellent insights into our failures to exegete our culture, to study it and understand how to communicate with people effectively.

Great Bible Teachers exegete their local classes and Bible study groups, too, in order to be used by God to precisely tailor a lesson or message to their exact needs, at this time.