“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

“Silence is a song”

The Sunday Sample Episode 45

Do you use silence as part of your corporate worship? Deliberate, creative silence. Not the accidental kind.

We take a look at this, prompted by some words of Soren Kierkegaard in the book, “Participating in worship” by Craig Erickson

 

Please leave a comment. Pass this on to someone. Subscribe to the feed.

God bless, Malcolm

“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

“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

“Is presence natural, or can it be learned?”

The Sunday Sample: Episode 44

  • We’re mistaken if we think we can lead a group without paying attention to presence
  • Some have it more naturally
  • Others can learn it
  1. Look at the group – take risks – look up.
  2.  Smile
  3. Stand tall
  4. Move slowly
Remember your goal is to be what they need, not what you feel is comfortable.

Question

What have you tried to help you grow in presence?
Please leave a comment and pass the link on.
God bless, Malcolm
“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Ps 100:2

“What to do when you are stuck with God”

Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 47

In last week’s episode (number 46) we looked at more reasons why we need a specific place for study. Please let me know how you’ve been getting on with your own study.
 
This week, let’s talk about what to do when you are stuck in your relationship with God. We’ve all been there. I have many times. I will be again, and so will you. What is it that will get us out of our rut?
 

Neither shallow, nor introspective.

We cannot stay shallow. Equally, we dare not become introspective. Perhaps a change of perspective will help. We’re not really trying to go deeper into ourselves, right? We’re attempting to go deeper into God. As Richard Foster puts it,
 
“I do not mean to turn inward by becoming ever more introspective, nor do I mean to turn inward in hopes of finding within ourselves some special inner strength or an inner saviour who will deliver us. Vain search! No, it is not a journey into ourselves that we are undertaking but a journey through ourselves so that we can emerge from the deepest level of the self into God.”*
 
Yes, that’s right. We emerge into God. In other words, we take action and discover that the faith involved in that action brings the reward of a renewed connection with God. It’s so important to remember that a relationship with God is not, in its essence, a concept or a feeling. It is something built by our faithful actions.
 

Confidence comes from action

Confidence with God grows as we take action. It has always been thus in the Christian life.
  • Jesus said, “Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” (John 7:17 NIV11)
  • The faithful of Hebrews 11 are commended for taking action, “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.” (Hebrews 11:7 NIV11)
  • Abraham is held up as the example of faithful action, “You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.” (James 2:22 NIV11)
If you want to grow in depth and intimacy with God – take action. Pray. Often. Read. Often.

Experiment with the ‘examen’

One action you could take is what’s called the ‘examen’. Psalm 139 sums it up:
 
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23–24)
 
The prayer of ‘examen’ consciously invites God to reveal truth in us. The revelation of truth is a startling stimulus to growth. We do not know what we will discover. As a result, we need to deal with the fear of what is turned up. Foster inserts this prayer at the end of his chapter on the topic:
 
“Precious Saviour, why do I fear your scrutiny? Yours is an examen of love. Still, I am afraid… Afraid of what may surface. Even so, I invite you to search me to the depths so that I may know myself – and you – in full measure. Amen”*
 
Why not pray this prayer, and then practice one of these four suggested methods for going deeper with God?
  1. Meditate on scripture – such as Psalm 62
  2. Pray the ‘Lord’s prayer’, Luke 11.2-4
  3. Pray through the ‘Ten Commandments’, Exodus 20.1-17
  4. Pray through and/or meditate on one or more of the ‘Beatitudes’, Matthew 5.3-12
If you want to grow in depth and intimacy with God - take action. Pray. Often. Read. Often. Click To Tweet

Conclusion

Try one of these suggestions for a period of time and note what you learn. What does God reveal? Let me know how it goes.

Question

What happened when you took action on one of these ideas? Were some easier than others? Why might that be?
Please leave a comment here so that we can all learn from one another. We learn best when we learn in community.
 
Would you like some coaching in the spiritual disciplines? You can find me by clicking the button below.
 
I hope you have a wonderful week of fulfilling quiet times.
 
God bless, Malcolm
 
Get coached on Coach.me
 

“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
Click To Tweet

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

“How to be bold in leading worship”

Sunday Sample 43

A report on singing a song at a slower speed, and a devotional idea for your worship team.

“I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise.
I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness, for you have so exalted your solemn decree that it surpasses your fame.
When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me.
May all the kings of the earth praise you, LORD, when they hear what you have decreed.
May they sing of the ways of the LORD, for the glory of the LORD is great.” (Psalms 138:0–5 NIV11)
“emboldened” – rahav – to act stormily, arrogantly, might
Question
What helps you to be bold in leading people in public corporate worship?
Please leave a comment and pass the link on.
God bless, Malcolm
“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

“Sing a song at a slower speed”

The Sunday Sample, Episode 42

Last time: what to do when a song doesn’t stick

Time before – pre-service and post-service music – went well in Watford

Today : “Sing a song at a slower speed”

Have you tried singing songs at a significantly slower speed?

Thank you for watching this recording. You can find more recordings on this topic here and on the YouTube Sunday Sample 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.

God bless,

Malcolm

“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

“What to do when a song doesn’t stick”

The Sunday Sample: Episode 41

Last time: pre-service and post-service music
Today : What to do when a song doesn’t stick
Things to consider:
  1. Did we teach it well?
  2. If there are men and women’s parts were they taught clearly?
  3. Is the theology really important?
  4. Is it a type of song we don’t have many of?
  5. Is it beyond the musical abilities of their congregation / worship team?
Possible solutions
  1. Re-teach
  2. Persevere
  3. Ask people what they think of the song
  4. Play in background so people become more familiar
  5. Perform it as a solo or group
Have you had this experience?
Please leave a comment and pass this on….
God bless, Malcolm
“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

“Pre-service and Post-service Music”

The Sunday Sample: Episode 40

Today I respond to Funlola‘s comment on last week’s post:

“I think starting music so people are walking in to it is good also – not walking into a warm up but walking into a worshipful atmosphere.”

I explain what we’re going to experiment with in Watford this coming Sunday. Let me know what you do.

Please leave a comment. Pass the link on to anyone who might benefit.

God bless, Malcolm

“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)