“There’s no such thing as a dragon”

Tuesday Teaching Tips: Episode 119

I tried something this last Sunday I’ve never tried before. I used a children’s story book as part the sermon for adults.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: www.malcolmcox.org.

Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review.

God bless, Malcolm

 

PS: If you would like some coaching in spiritual disciplines, look me up here

PPS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John

“Why slides are your friend”

Tuesday Teaching Tips: Episode 118

We look at the usefulness of slides for our teaching. Even though ‘death by PowerPoint’ is a thing, that does not mean that slides are not helpful. We talk about the ways they can help us to clarify our structure, and how they can help an audience relax and listen.

 

Thank you for watching this recording. You can find more teaching tips here and on the on the YouTube teaching tips playlist.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org/.

Thanks again for watching. Have a terrific Tuesday, and a wonderful week.

God bless,

Malcolm

“You’re preaching – who cares?”

Tuesday Teaching Tips: Episode 117

“Every single person who sits politely and listens to you on Sunday is one decision away from moral, financial, and marital ruin.” ‘Communicating for a change’ p88

Does this topic really matter? Does it matter to me?

Tips

1. Pray over it – the point, not just the passage

2. Apply it to yourself – how will this benefit your life?

  • What prevent?
  • What enable?

3. Apply it to people you know will be there

  • Imagine what their lives like if do not apply it
  • Imagine what their lives like if do apply it
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Thank you for listening to this recording. You can find more teaching tips here and on the on the YouTube teaching tips playlist.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org/.

Thanks again for listening. Have a terrific Tuesday, and a wonderful week.

God bless,

Malcolm

“Why your tone matters”

Tuesday Teaching Tips: Episode 116

Why does our tone matter? And what can we do about it?

Considerations – three “T”s

  • Trigger past hurts –
    • Shouted as a child
    • Lectured in stern way – felt small
  • Tyrant
    • Sound like you are incontrovertible – cannot be wrong
    • Sets us up as proud
  • Tune out
    • “He’s against me”
    • Arguing with you in their heads even if agree with your point objectively
    • Audience will not give you the benefit of the doubt
“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” Isaiah 40:2 NIV11
““Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.
In his name the nations will put their hope.”” (Matthew 12:18–21 NIV11)
“Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:4–6 NIV11)
Questions
  1. Do you ever speak in real life in the way you preach?
  2. Is your tone, generally, one of grace rather than judgment?
Tips
  1. Listen to yourself
  2. Ask others how you come across
Conclusion: “You shout so loud I can’t hear what you’re saying”
Thank you for listening to this recording. You can find more teaching tips here and on the on the YouTube teaching tips playlist.
Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.
Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.
If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: www.malcolmcox.org.
Thanks again for listening. Have a terrific Tuesday, and a wonderful week.
God bless,
Malcolm

“How to deliver an extemporary communion”

Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 115

You might have heard of the ‘sermunion’.

Have you tried an extemporary communion talk?

Ben May preached on the parable of the wedding banquet, Matt 22.1-14

““But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” (Matthew 22:11–13 NIV11)

I composed an extemporary communion.

Clothing – Gal 3.26-29
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:26–29 NIV11)

Could have added disrobing of Jesus on cross so we can be robed.

Tips
1. Know what the speaker’s topic/scripture is beforehand
2. Make notes during the sermon – surprising how more comes to mind when see it written down
3. Don’t force it – if necessary read 1 Cor 11.23-26 and pray

Conclusion
* Tried it?
* Downsides?

Questions
Your thoughts?

Comments….

Pass it on ….

Like & Subscribe….

Thank you for watching this video. You can find more teaching tips here and on the YouTube teaching tips playlist.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

Thanks again for watching. Have a terrific Tuesday, and a wonderful week.

God bless,

Malcolm

“Why preaching is a positive nuisance”

Tuesday Teaching Tips: Episode 114

This quote from Gustav Holst (British classical music composer) is interesting;
“Never compose anything unless the not composing of it becomes a positive nuisance to you.”
I would say that the same holds for preaching.
  • Many of my sermons have been delivered with a sense of relief (I had to get that out), but at times some have lacked the itch.
  • Why ‘preach’ if you have not felt the imperative?
  • Why speak if the holding in is not more painful than the letting go?
  • Jeremiah felt the pain we are talking about here:
“Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” (Jeremiah 20:8–9 NIV)
  • Peter and John experienced something similar when they were instructed not to preach:
“But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”” (Acts 4:19–20 NIV)
  • Those of us granted the grace to preach the Word of God have a responsibility to make sure we are responding to a deep inner authentic call emanating from God’s Word, stirring our soul and spilling out onto the ears and hearts of the hearers God has gifted us.
  • How do we develop this ‘positive nuisance’?
  • Here are three tips:
1. Get a soaking – while quality is more important than quantity, it is undeniably true that more time reading, thinking about and studying the Bible gives us a clearer sight of the heart of God. Spend quantity time in the Bible regularly.
2. Ask the questions – questioning the text opens up our own imagination, which in turn prompts the heart. Questions such as, “What did the hearers think this meant?”, “What did the writer intend his hearers to understand?”, “What action might God have hoped we might take from this passage?”
3. Pray the text – praying through the passage or about the themes of the passage helps us to deepen our conviction levels. Often I have experienced God’s hand putting the truth of a passage onto my heart through a time of prayer.

Conclusion

  • Put these tips into practice and the ‘nuisance’ value of scripture will grow in you as in me.
  • Jesus taught as one with authority (Mk 1:27) and the people were amazed at him.
  • There were several reasons for this, but one was that when he spoke everyone could tell he was not able to stop himself.
  • It just had to come out.
  • Let it be like that for every sermon we preach, every lesson we teach.

Questions

Your thoughts? Please post a comment and pass it on ….
God bless, Malcolm

“How to give your listeners time to turn to the right scripture”

Tuesday Teaching Tips: Episode 113

Summary

  • Gaining attention is the first goal of preaching
  • Understanding is the second goal of preaching
  • “Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand.” (Matthew 15:10 NIV11)
  • Give people time to turn to the scripture
  • Non-Christians might not know where to start
  • Makes it look like what you are going to say about the passage is more important than the passage itself

How

  1. Mention scripture before you go there
  2. Pause while people find it
  3. Put the reference on screen
  4. Plan what to say while people are searching for the passage

Conclusion: Don’t empty the Word of its power!

What are your thoughts on the significance of this issue? Do you have any other ideas to help us avoid rushing to the reading?

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: www.malcolmcox.org.

Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review.

God bless, Malcolm

 

PS: If you would like some coaching in spiritual disciplines, look me up here.

PPS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John

“Interview with podcaster Simon Dinning”

Tuesday Teaching Tips: Episode 112

My first interview is with old friend Simon Dinning.  He hosts the podcast, “Prepared to answer”.  You can find him there, or on his blog, or YouTube channel.

The reason I chose to interview him was because, although he has a busy life, he carves out a little bit of time to record podcasts helping us answer common questions that people ask about the Christian faith. He is a man of conviction and compassion.  I think you’ll like this podcast, and I hope you will find this interview inspiring. I certainly came away reinvigorated.

Link: YouTube

Link: Website

Link: Podcast

Thank you for listening to this recording. You can find more teaching tips here and on the on the YouTube teaching tips playlist.
Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.
Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.
If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: www.malcolmcox.org.
Thanks again for listening. Have a terrific Tuesday, and a wonderful week.
God bless,
Malcolm

“How to talk meaningfully about the communion: Part 5”

Tuesday Teaching Tips: Episode 111

How can we avoid dull repetition or creative confusion when talking about the Lord’s supper?

This is the fifth in a series looking at different views of the atonement as a way of broadening and deepening our appreciation for the cross.

Today we study Paul’s teaching on the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians 11 to help us understand the meaning of the communion.

We explore some tips on how meaningful communions are constructed and on what they are best focussed.

Questions

What are your thoughts on how we can make the communion talks biblical and relevant? How we do it and what we emphasise?
Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.
Next week: an interview with Simon Dinning of “prepared to answer” podcast – look it up.
God bless, Malcolm
NOTES:
Summary
  • Christus Victor saves by conquering evil
  • Penal substitution saves by satisfying the wrath of God
  • Healing view saves by curing and restoring
A. What is it’s purpose? 1 Cor 11.23-26
  • Remembrance
  • Community function
  • Strengthen faith, hearts, community
B. What are we to proclaim?
  • Christ’s death
  • Solidarity together in this (shared meal)
C. What are we to practice?
Many debatable elements – all have our preferences
  • Cups: 1 / many cups
  • Liquids: Grape juice / wine
  • Prayers: one / two
  • Participants: adults / children; Christians / non-Christians
Core issues
  • Centre: Christ – not the personal sharing/story/illustration
  • Word: scripture relating to the cross and its purpose
  • God: what He has done – not what we are to do
  • Because: remind why taking bread and wine. Confirm at end of talk or during prayer.
Suggestions
  • One scripture
  • One story
  • One idea

“How to talk meaningfully about the communion: Part 4”

Tuesday Teaching Tips: Episode 110

I have a passion to do my best to make sure that our congregation’s members can take a meaningful communion every week. I believe we can avoid dull repetition and boredom. And the opposite problem of going off-topic in such of creativity. The answer, as usual, is to go deeper. I have taught on the atonement a few times, and found this to be tremendously helpful in my thinking about the communion.

I share today about one of the models of the atonement – that called, “Healing”.

Let me know what you think of this model. In what way is it helpful? How could this view of atonement be brought to life in a communion talk?  What scriptures, images, stories would give people sense of being healed, as they take bread and wine, that they are restored, reconciled, adopted into God’s family?

Please leave a comment in the comment box below. We learn best when we learn in community.

Please pass the link to this recording on to one other person so that they may benefit.

Click like, and subscribe you haven’t already done so. If you have time, leave a review which will help us gain greater visibility for these recordings.

Thanks so much for watching and listening. I hope you have a terrific Tuesday and a wonderful week.

God bless, Malcolm

Scriptures referenced or alluded to in this recording:

“The atonement means that the relationship between humans and God is restored (healed). The central piece in this restoration is that God, through the Servant who personally takes on all our iniquities, grants forgiveness of sins….The punishment for our sins, which was often meted out in terms of suffering, sickness and calamity, has also been taken on by that Servant. His absorption of both the sin and its punishment is the means to our healing and restoration, by grace bringing us shalom or well-being in all its richness.” The Nature of the Atonement”, p130