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Planning Your Preaching!

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One of the things that I often get asked is “how can I preach better?” or “how can I preach with a better response or better results?”  The fact is that preaching the gospel is the power of God – that’s how people get saved, get healed, get transformed.  Preaching is one of the single most effective uses of your time as a pastor and leader.  It’s that simple.  There is a move in some churches today to denigrate preaching and to minimise it’s power – some people are maxing their preach time to 8 minutes.  Wow!  If you want to be soaked in the Word I believe you should take at least 45 minutes.  I preach over an hour nearly every single week because I know it’s the Word of God that lifts and transforms and builds people up.

A lot of people spend a lot of energy and effort into planning the sermon, and absolutely that is correct, but planning a single sermon is great if you are a travelling evangelist, but for pastors you need to be planning more than one week in advance.

Firstly, as the lead pastor of a church, realise that you will always be and always should be in charge of the preaching in your church.  I have been to churches (and even pastored one) where the eldership or the deaconate were in charge of the preaching calendar, the rota of speakers.  One church I know pastored a council worker to come and “preach” about how awful his wife was for divorcing him.  No!   The lead pastor of the church is in charge of the preaching.  Absolutely, ridiculously in charge of the preaching.  No one gets to preach in the pulpit unless you give the say so.  It’s that simple.  The lead pastor is the shepherd of the flock and is the guardian of the sheep.

I take that approach in Tree of Life Church.  If I ask someone to preach, I am more than happy to ask them to preach on whatever I want, I am happy to ask for their notes before they preach.  Obviously with guest speakers like Arthur Meintjes who I have heard again and again and trust to bring a complete work message, I give a lot more latitude but to a new preacher within the church, I am ridiculously careful.  Why?  Because I am accountable before God regarding what is spoken at the church.

All preaching must be brought into the bigger picture of the church.  At Tree of Life Church our bigger picture is to “inspire people to dream, to challenge people to live the dream”, so I (Benjamin Conway) have to look at my preaching every week and ask myself – am I inspiring people to dream?  Am I challenging people to live the dream?  If not, chuck it in the bin as it is not helping the Tree fulfil God’s will.

So, preparation has a massive role to play: not just preparing the message, but preparing it to fit in with the bigger picture.  Then there is the theme for the season: what are we doing as a church right now?  So at the moment (May 2013) at Tree of Life Church we are hammering home the truth that there is a lot of deception in a lot of the church and that a great deal of this deception is basically obscuring the cross of Christ.  So, every sermon preached in May will be about deception and every sermon preaching in June will be about the complete work.

You need a preaching calendar.  You need to include important dates (not just Christmas and Easter, but Valentine’s Day, New Years’ Eve and September.  When the schools return after summer, lots of people come back to church and you need a powerful series to get them energised for church).  You must have a preaching calendar.  You must not just get in the pulpit and “allow the Spirit to lead you” – it will lead to the same message week after week and your church will have no direction.

I have already penned our preaching calendar for 2014.  Our theme is “Identity” and we have 12 months in which we are going to learn about our identity as reborn human beings.  Our summer conference for 2014 is sub-titled “We are Jesus on the earth!” and will be about our identity as the image of God on earth.  In August our worship leaders are going to find songs that fit in with our identity.  Our leadership conference will be grounded in identity.

Identity inspires people to dream, so the theme of the year fits perfectly with the overall dream of the church.  This planning is so important because to fail to plan is to plan to fail: so many charismatics just give us a piece of their mind when preaching – sort of a stream of consciousness from the pulpit.  It doesn’t help.

Then when planning the month around the monthly theme, I consider what the Bible says about the monthly theme and then consider what I want the people to know.  Good teaching should give information that people don’t have and press people to make a decision they haven’t made before.  So, for example, next Sunday morning, I am preaching on how it is deception to believe that you can have a harvest without a seed.  The information I am going to give people is show them all the different ways Christians try and get a harvest without a seed, and the decision I want people to make is to sow a seed into the kingdom (not necessarily money, but an action of faith and love).  Now I know that, putting the sermon together is much easier.

Not only that there is continuity from week to week.  If another person in the church preaches, they get to know the calendar and have to fit in with it.

Any questions about preaching or sermon preparation?  Please ask them below, I will answer all of them as best I could.

(Benjamin Conway preaches 3 times nearly every weekend, in Watford, Guildford and Dagenham.  Every month over 2000 people download or stream one f his sermons online from their church website, www.treeoflifedagenham.com.  These messages are free of charge because God’s Word is free of charge.)

Destiny!

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Destiny and Destination – Tree of Life Church London

Just uploaded 3 1/2 sermons to the internet.

2. It’s A Good Destiny!
God is a good God. His destiny for you is GOOD! You will love doing what God has called you to do! So many Christians think doing God’s will is a chore or a difficult task. No – following God’s will is the most exciting life you could ever have.

For some reason the audio recording failed during this message, so you only have the first half of this sermon. However, there is some great teaching in the first half, so enjoy!

3. Angry and Jealous
Anger and jealousy are both emotions that God has created you with. Anger normally ends up as a destructive force but in this powerful message Benjamin shows how anger can be a creative force that empowers us into walking in our destiny, and that jealousy can often reveal God’s will to us in a clear way.

4. The Geography of Destiny
You are designed to function in a particular place with particular people doing a particular task. If you are not doing what you are called to do in the place you are called to do it, you will put in maximum effort and get minimum results. In this clear teaching, Benjamin shows how to get into the place you are supposed to be in.

6. What Do You Want
God has a plan and a destiny for you and being in that destiny will be the greatest joy of your life. However, if you choose to do God’s will and follow God’s destiny, you have to give up everything that is not in God’s will. In this challenging message, Benjamin will lead you to decide if you are willing to pay the price to enjoy God’s best for your life and answer the question “What Do You Want?”

Prayer and Fasting

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Two new sermons on our website – on prayer and fasting:

http://treeoflifelondon.weebly.com/february-2010.html

Sermon on Fasting: THE BENEFITS OF FASTING

Jesus said that if we fast in private that God would reward us openly. In this message Benjamin talks about the many benefits of fasting along with some practical advice on how to fasting – and how not get into imbalance on this subject!

Sermon on Prayer: WHAT PRAYER IS NOT

Prayer is one of the most misunderstood parts of the Christian life because there is so much poor teaching about prayer based on experience and traditions, and not on God’s Word.

This message is the first of a four part series, and in it Benjamin clears away some of the rubble we have that are false ideas about prayer, to get us ready for the next few weeks as we find out what prayer really is.

The Naked devil

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Angels and Demons – Tree of Life Church London

One of the greatest dangers for the charismatic church at the end of the age is an obsession with the devil – that the church magnifies the devil and minimizes God and His greatness.

In this powerful and Biblical message, Benjamin shares what the devil really is and who we really are and what spiritual warfare really is. This message will deal with some of the charismatic traditions that steal our freedom in Christ and our victory.

Angels and Demons – New Sermon

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New Sermon – Angels


Angels and Demons – Tree of Life Church London

In this message Benjamin teaches from the Scripture about what angels are and how humans encounter angels, all the time calling for a balance on this controversial topic and ensuring that we use the Bible as our measuring guide and exalt Jesus above all angels. Benjamin then candidly shares his personal experiences with angels.to encourage and inspire the church of God.

Note: please excuse the background noise in this sermon. Firstly, Pastor Ben’s three year old daughter had just come from a birthday party and was very excitable. Secondly, at one stage some youths outside the hall got into a ruckus and we all ran outside to make sure they were okay!

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New Sermon on Faith and Hope!

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New message on faith and hope at our church website:

http://treeoflifelondon.weebly.com/w…ober-2009.html

What is the difference between faith and hope? What should I hope for? How can I, in my life, have hope?

This message will answer your questions and inspire you to be a person of vision.

Hebrews 11.1 tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for. In this compelling message Benjamin teaches how to correctly be a person of hope and what every Christian should hope for. Then he explains in practical terms how to take your hopes, expectations and dreams and see them become real in the earth.

Enjoy!

Glory and freedom,
Benjamin

Glorify God!

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I have just posted this afternoon’s sermon at Tree of Life Church to our church website, it is called Glorify God.

Our worship before hand was the most intense we have had on a Sunday service – it was beautiful. The preaching came out of an atmosphere of the presence of God and is a clear and crisp message on how essential it is to focus on God in the midst of adversity.

Enjoy!

Benjamin

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