What constitutes a ‘good’ minister?

Not so long ago I discussed the subjective nature of a 'good' sermon. A good minister is not so subjective to assess as a sermon because the apostle Paul discusses it in his letters and he gives advice about a good minister 1Tim 4:6 and evangelist 2Tim 4:5 when writing to Timothy. Ministers and preachers …

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What constitutes a ‘good’ sermon?

The answer to this question is subjective, although it ought to be objective. The difficulty in making it objective is that everyone has a different idea of 'good'. The preacher will have a different assessment from his hearers, and the hearers will differ according to their readiness to receive instruction from the preacher. Even Jesus …

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Pastors and teachers

Scripture makes a difference between pastors and teachers. "He gave ... apostles ... prophets ... evangelists ... pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints."Eph 4:11 The apostle Paul distinguishes pastors and teachers.  Pastors are shepherds and preachers are teachers. Some preachers call themselves pastor, such as Pastor Jack Glass, but a preacher teaches …

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View from the Pew

In the 1980s I edited View from Farr and in the 1990s Auldcastle View. The past two decades have given me another perspective and so I am beginning a new series in my blog called View from the Pew. It is specifically aimed at preachers, preaching and congregations. The reason for this is that whereas …

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What should we expect from preachers?

Most people watch television, so public speakers including preachers should thereby learn some presentational skills. This being so, preachers who cannot read the Scripture clearly and intelligibly are without excuse.  It is sometimes evident from the wrong emphasis they use in their reading of Scripture that they do not understand what they are reading. What …

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What do we do about confusion in congregational preaching?

Intelligent listeners will notice differences in teaching between preachers even in the same denomination, as well as between denominations. The right of private judgment is permitted to Christians, but the continuous and unchallenged preaching of different doctrines only leads to confusion in congregations - and God is not the author of confusion 1Cor 14:33. So …

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Sermon preparation

Some bullet points on sermon preparation. 1. Have an interesting introduction. In Lectures to My Students, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, 'the prince of 19th-century preachers', says that every notice should have the word “Attention!” at the top; and so every sermon should call attention to the topic of the sermon. It should be composed last, when …

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Husbands are to study

1Cor 14:34-35: "Let your women keep silence in the churches: and let them ask their husbands at home." Application: this is not so much a restriction on the wife, as a requirement on the husband to study. John Knox on asking questions after sermons: The Liturgy of John Knox: “Everie week once, the Congregation assemble to …

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Wise preaching

Ecc 12:10 v10: “the preacher sought”: a good preacher studies how to put across his teaching in an acceptable and memorable manner. “acceptable words”: to speak in a manner which will be well received by his hearers. This does not mean pleasing words, which will not upset people, but it is expanded and explained in …

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Questions and answers in church and congregational life

In 1Corinthians Paul deals with some congregational issues and in 1Cor 14:35 he tells wives: "if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." This strongly suggests that husbands were asking questions in congregations - but how many preachers …

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