What’s your method for collecting ideas for your next lesson? It’s really annoying when you have a killer illustration come to mind –  but no way to record it. I share my current method using Drafts and Evernote. What do you do? Please leave a comment – I’d like to know. So would many other people.

Teaching, preaching, lessons, Drafts, Evernote, illustrations, note taking, mccx, malcolmcox.org

The Sunday Sample – 13th August 2017

Reflections on Corporate Worship

A snippet from Ben’s sermon



Date:  Sunday 13th August 2017


Location: Watford & Lower Earley

Special Occasion: none


I spoke in Watford. Ben Dannatt preached in Lower Earley. Both lessons are available via the Watford and Thames Valley YouTube channels and their respective podcasts.

In Watford, we sat in a circle – lots of people on their holidays. My lesson was on Luke 21.5-19 with discussion and interaction. The situation was a challenge. Lots of interruptions for seeing to the needs of babies, and latecomers. I wonder if we’d have been better off taking the chairs outdoors and sitting in the sun. The weather was good. Next time.

The discussion part of the lesson was helpful, but my questions were not quite on the mark. Next time I need to think through whether the questions are driving to the heart of the issue.

Ben spoke well in Lower Earley. His personal vulnerability was endearing, and his questions to our faith were probing.

I’d be interested in your feedback. Please leave a comment below.

Note to self: think through the questions more carefully

Music Worship

Watford: The depleted numbers gave their best, and Charl was rock-like. He showed a good connection with the congregation when acknowledging that one of the songs was not one we’d taught thoroughly. He led the song with stronger direction as a result which the church appreciated. The song was sung better than usual.

Lower Earley: the new projector is brighter. It lifted the mood of the whole church including those leading worship. Knowing all images and lyrics will be seen clearly was a boost.

We sang the “bread and wine” song seated, with no one up front leading it. A more meditative rendering of the hymn was the result. We’ll do that again.

Feedback was positive about the variety of songs, and the spiritually uplifting way they were led.

Note to self: vary the methods for songs to be led

Other Thoughts

Last week I said I would:

  1. Lower Earley: Double-confirm who is leading which song by Friday at the latest – done
  2. Watford: Add personal vulnerability to my sermon in Watford – not done

The focus for next Sunday:

  1. Bracknell: keep the song service simple. The PA experts are away.
  2. Watford: Add personal vulnerability to my sermon in Watford

Please comment on what you’re doing locally with your services. What are you trying that’s working? What is God teaching you?

Share reflections with us so we can grow and please God.

You can leave a comment below.

God bless,



When is it appropriate to apologise in a lesson? We think about servanthood, humility and our motives for public apologies.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)

What’s the best way to end a talk? We take some inspiration from Jesus and Paul. What are your thoughts? Please leave a comment.

What are the benefits of spiritual disciplines? What do they cost? We look at the example of Jesus, and discuss the value of these disciplines.


What’s the best way to preach a Psalm? Please give me some help with Psalm 130.


Tuesday Teaching Tips: “Six Sources For Finding Your Unique Voice”


Your voice is unique. But do you know how unique? We look at six ways to discover your unique voice.

What is the best way to finish a lesson? We look at seven examples from the teaching of Jesus.

1. Question – Lk 18.8;
2. Call Back – Luke 13.16 / 21;
3. Action Challenge – Lk 10.37;
4. Illustration – Matt 19.13-15;
5. Scripture – Lk 20.17-18;
6. Provocative Statement – Lk 4.27;
7. Promise – Lk 11.13

Message me with your comments at malcolm@malcolmcox.org, or leave a comment here.

What are your best ways to finish a lesson? Please let me know.

God bless,


Tuesday Teaching Tips: “How to preach outdoors” – VIDEO

Speaking outdoors can be a challenge, but an exciting opportunity. I share five tips to make us as effective as possible:

1. Confidence
2. Conditions
3. Props
4. Voice
5. One point

What are your ideas and questions? Email me at malcolm@malcolmcox.org, or leave a comment here.

Tuesday Teaching Tips: “How to include God” – VIDEO

Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Are our lessons really about God? It’s easy to emphasise practical application at the expense of a focus on God.

I share two practical ways to make sure we keep God the main thing.

What are your ideas to keep God front and centre as we speak? Please leave a comment below.

Many thanks,