Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day!

The Gospel-driven Disciples blog will be closed this weekend in order to enjoy this three day weekend! We will be on the patio and in the backyard grilling hamburgers, roasting corn on the cob, almost inhaling watermelon, and enjoying potato salad. Also, our daughters Shannon and Sonja (Vancouver, Portland) will be with us along with our granddaughters Madilynn and Bryttany!

We wish thee and thine a very happy holiday! I hope that you and yours will keep everything safe, sane, and satisfying! Have fun!!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Test of Sonship (Part 9)

SERMON            GM14-030

SERIES:              The Christian Life Viewed as Sonship

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM

SUBTITLE:        The Test of Sonship     (Part 9)

SCRIPTURE:     1 John 4:2-3

SUBJ:                  Discernment

SUMMARY:       The children of God must practice spiritual discernment

SCHEME:           that Christians develop the disciple of discernment in order to distinguish between truth and error

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Friday, August 29, 2014

What Is Necessary for a Good Introduction to a Biblical Book?

In order to accurately and effectively teach a book of the bible, great care must be given to the introduction of the book being taught. Much information is gained by the preacher by such in-depth study. Also, a thorough introduction is the only way to gain first hand the intent and purpose of the author of the book under consideration.

Naturally some or much information may not be necessary for the congregation. The preacher must determine what is beneficial and necessary for his people in order for them to understand the intent, purpose, structure, and application of the book they are hearing taught from the pulpit.

Over the years I have come to use the following outline in order to prepare a thorough introduction of the book that I am teaching at the time:

  1. Authenticity - establish the canonicity of the book
  2. Apparatus - which MSS family and text is your translation from
  3. Arrangement - genre/each genre is interpreted differently
  4. Author - who is the writer?
  5. Audience - who was the book written to?
  6. Age - when was the book written?
  7. Argument - what is the intent or the main purpose?
  8. Aim - what the objectives the author wanted to accomplish?
  9. Analysis - what is the outline of the book that will be used?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Do You Vary Your Introductions?

All of us who preach or teach each week face at least one absolute and concrete truth: next Sunday a new message must be prepared. No matter how well last Sunday was received, the minute you finished your message another one needs to be prepared.

I have discovered for me that the two parts of a message that are more difficult for me to prepare are the introduction and conclusion. Someone once told me that introductions were "the front porch" to the house. Well, for a good long season my "front porches" were bigger, better built, and more developed than the sermon itself. 

Having sat through a number of sermons, I know that 9 out of 10 guys don't know how to end or conclude a message. I have seen the extremes - from no conclusion at all to a whole 'nother sermon.

I have come across several introductory devices that I now use on a fairly rotating basis in order to prevent staleness from settling in. Maybe one or more of these can help you.


  • Begin by asking a "penetrating question"
  • Begin by giving pertinent facts
  • Begin by describing a descriptive scene
  • Begin by using an "astonishing/breaking news lead"
  • Begin by using a quotation
  • Begin by using a biblical illustration
  • Begin by telling a story
  • Begin by reading a related scripture to your text/theme
The idea of the introduction is to attract your people's attention to your theme and give them a reason to listen. Keep it simple and keep it short.

Your introduction should contain three specific items:
  • your introductory device
  • your transitional sentence tying the intro device to audience
  • your propositional sentence
What are you thoughts?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Gentleman - Questions For Your Ministry

Many times I come across ideas that cause me to stop for a moment and do some real thinking. Many times I take these ideas and change them for at least five (5) reasons:

  • to help them fall more in line with Scripture
  • to fit my specific situation
  • to make more sense to me
  • to further develop a good or semi-good idea
  • to take them a bit further than they have gone
If you have been around me for even a short time you have come to know that I operate by a few specific axioms. One axiom that governs my thinking is this, "I have never had an original idea, but I know who to take a good idea and make it better."

I don't know where I got the following questions. I don't remember if I got them all at one time, or if I came across them from various sources. Unfortunately I can't give credit where credit is due. If you see your question here then forgive me for not foot-noting you.

Here are seven questions I ask myself all the time. Maybe they can be helpful to you in your field of ministry. I would love to see your answers to these questions. They will help me further my labor in the field of Kelso/Lexington.
  1. What is the spiritual age of my congregation?
  2. How do I plan for the maturity of my people
  3. How do I preach with a view to discipleship?
  4. How do I really get to know my people?
  5. How will they be brought to love the gospel  
  6. How will the come to love biblical preaching?
  7. How will they come to love God more than a  "form of godliness?"