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Big 'H' or Little 'h'

f-Dilena-BigH ? Istockphoto-XebecheStruggling with your next sermon? Make the intentional decision to listen for the heartbeat of Jesus.

We all have those times in ministry when it's just plain difficult. In the early days of my ministry and preaching, Saturdays and Mondays were those times for me.
Saturdays were spent struggling to find a verse, an illustration, a thought to share with the people that would show up at church the next morning to see and feel all my hard work. These were "pre-Internet" days, so by mid-morning I'd have 25 books spread out all over my floor just to find one nugget of truth.
The second-worst days were Mondays. After I had the time to let the damage I caused the day before sink in, Monday became a depressing day of "no one was changed, saved or transformed and even cared." And then realization set in that I got to do this again for the midweek service.
There has to be a better way, I thought. Over the years, I found one.
It all depended on what my "H" looked like.

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Power from on High

f-Carrin-Power ? Istockphoto-Irochka TA FORMER NONBELIEVER IN THE BAPTISM AND GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT SHARES WHY THE ANOINTING OF GOD IS THE INDISPENSABLE COMPONENT FOR PREACHING POWER PREACHING

In His first sermon, Jesus told the people of Nazareth, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel" (Luke 4:18). As with Jesus, so with us: There can be no authentic preaching of the gospel without the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
My 60-plus years of ministry can be divided into two parts. For the first 27 years of pastoral work, I was a hard-line nonbeliever in the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit. My denomination insisted that miraculous works of the Spirit vanished when the Apostle John died, and I wrongly carried that error to my congregation.

A Hard Road to Spiritual Awakening
During that period I never saw an alcoholic, drug addict, suicidal person or someone suffering from similar problems miraculously deliv-ered by the power of God—nor did I expect it. It's difficult to think about and admit, but my ignorance of Scripture was extremely costly to me and my flock.
I'll never forget one particularly dark time. A young mother in our congregation, whom we all thought gentle and kind, loaded a gun, murdered her husband and three children, and committed suicide. At the time it was Atlanta's worst-ever murder-suicide. It's impossible to describe the horrific effect the tragedy had on a network of families, friends, neighbors and our church.

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Word & Spirit to the People


What will it take to get back to preaching that results in people wanting to "talk about God"?f-Kendall-WordSpirit New Generation Church


A pastor in Kentucky had only one sermon. Even though recall time was coming, he could not come up with a new message. But when the vote was taken, he got a unanimous recall.

The following year, he tried to improve but couldn't. He still had only one sermon.

"We better pack our belongings," he said to his wife. "They aren't going to keep us another year."

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A Preacher’s Preacher

R.T. Kendall can preach with the best of them, yet it’s his gift of connecting knowledge to Spirit-empowered truth that truly sets him apartf-Strang-PreachersPreacher Kara Spence-Markham Woods Church

 

Since we started having guest editors two years ago we’ve covered some important topics: integrity, giving, church growth, evangelism, prayer, leadership, social transformation and, most recently, revival and healing.

We’ve had some high-profile guest editors such as Reinhard Bonnke, Robert Morris, Mike Bickle, Bill Johnson and Dr. Mark Rutland. During these two years, Ministry Today has experienced a resurgence unlike anything in its nearly three-decade history. I’m grateful to these guest editors and for the response from readers like you.

Now we focus on an equally important topic for pastors:  preaching. To do so, we asked one of the best preachers of our generation—Dr. R.T. Kendall—to be guest editor. 

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Revival Involves Taking Risks

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It’s 6 at night as I arrive home from a long day at work. I flip on the TV to catch the news. The commentator rattles off some of the day’s headlines: “The American economy is in serious trouble! President Obama and the Republicans can’t agree on the solution. With the declining economy, crime is increasing and poverty is on the rise. Internationally: Iran is threatening to destroy Israel ... the violent North Korean dictator has just died, leading to greater global uncertainty ... Egypt has turned violent ... There’s a growing threat of civil war in Iraq, and immorality seems to be at an all-time high.”


My heart wrenches with anxiety as the stories unfold. Get us out of here, Lord, I pray silently. Then suddenly, without warning, a thought stands erect like a brave soldier on the battlefield of my mind:Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Before I can process that verse, more soldiers begin to take their stand on the war-torn sands of my imagination; “Arise and shine for your light has come. The glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold deep darkness covers the earth, deep darkness the people, but the Lord will rise upon you. His glory will be seen on you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising!” In a matter of seconds, other soldiers emerge, shouting their commands into the foxholes of my heart, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth; therefore, go and make disciples of all nations!”

Courage slowly seeps into my soul as I am reminded of our mandate and mission. We were never placed on this planet to reflect the culture; we’ve been called to transform it. The kingdom of God is to be cultivated within us so that it infects and affects the kingdoms around us, until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God.

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A Safe Place for the Supernatural

f-Silk-SafePlace

A culture of honor gives room for people to grow in freedom and power


One of the premier core values and goals of an apostolic environment is creating a safe place that brings out the best in people. Paul asserts that knowing a loving God is the pathway to accessing the unlimited supply of His goodness: 

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Eph. 3:14-21).

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