Preaching Luther

We are celebrating “Luther Week” at MainStreet as we honor the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We watched the 2003 Luther movie on Wednesday night, and we will be discussing the movie and Reformation this Wednesday night at Three Taverns. This Sunday I also spent time introducing this truly one-of-a-kind flawed heroes of the faith….

Naked & Embodied Words

In our digital age, many (if not most) the messages we receive throughout the week come stark naked — i.e., disembodied.  I’m finishing up my first doctoral thesis paper today, and exploring the power of and need for “embodied teaching” in the church and “embodied words” in our lives as a whole. We get sprinkled with text…

Boomers, Millennials & Bible Study

I was reading a piece today in Christianity Today (October ’17) about how Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) is trying to reinvent themselves to reach more millennials. This widely respected Bible teaching ministry birthed just after WWII is almost 60 years old, and is struggling to get people under 40 to attend. I found the following very…

Teaching & Interpersonal Relationships

Matt Friedeman’s book The Master Plan of Teaching (1990) examines Jesus’ teaching style and suggests the following formula emphasizing that content alone is not enough, but the teacher-student relationship is a central ingredient: COMMUNICATION = CONTENT + RELATIONSHIP He then offers some steps toward effective interpersonal relationships in the graph below. Pastors and teachers who want to…

A Faith that Relieves & Releases

A member of our church paid me a great compliment this week. She said, “I’m discovering a trend among MainStreeters I am getting to know. I keep hearing people say, ‘Well, Jeremy challenged us to do such and such and here’s what resulted.” She quickly qualified her statement with, “Don’t worry, its the good kind of challenge…

Pastor as Spiritual Midwife

A few years back I had to write a paper exploring an image or metaphor that describes my personal vision for pastoral ministry. Here’s what I wrote. (Note: Keri was pregnant with Abby at the time). “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you…” Gal. 4:19…

The Perils of Preaching Today

“We come to the Bible, raising questions about its relevance to our present daily lives, only to find that the Bible questions us about our relevance to the way of Christ.” -Will Willimon We’re modern people. We value efficiency and practicality.  We like quick how-to tutorials that immediately get to the point. We’re self-driven, ambitious…

Lucky: The Tale of Eutychus

Enjoy an imaginative first person narrative sermon I wrote about the strange story of Eutychus in Acts 20:7-12. I remember it was early spring and unseasonably warm. It was just after Passover. I can still smell the warm, salted breeze coming off the Aegean sea, and hear the squalk of seagulls circling above. We stood on the…