Fishing Sermons: 5 Baits to Ensure a Bite

One of the First Aims of Preaching from Rev. Adam Hamilton’s chapter on “Preaching” is called Evangelistic Sermons.


I’m sure you will agree that there are two times when the unchurched find themselves sitting in our pews: Christmas and Easter.  Hamilton let’s us know that these are the times we  need to go fishing!

Evangelistic Sermons

As we prepare for our highest recruitment days (Christmas and Easter) or “Fishing Expedition” opportunities as Hamilton states, it’s important to be very intentional.  He shares some strategies that have contributed to his success.

How to Use Your Secretary



How to Use Your Secretary

Stop Doing My Job.

I remember the day all so well. I found myself at the copy machine. Right when I was about to hit the ‘start’ button with my pointer finger, there she was. “What are you doing,” she asked with a puzzled look. I thought it was a trick question. So I responded with a sort of ‘question’ tone, “Making 20 copies of these documents.” She fired back, “But that’s my job.” I stood there not knowing what to do with my finger. Before I knew she was standing between me and the copy machine. Since it was a little awkward, I made my way back to the office. I had had secretaries before, or perhaps not.

Pastors Can Benefit From Being UNDER Leadership

I was viewing a sermon from Apostle Ron Carpenter earlier this month on our need to be UNDER leadership in order to grasp a hold of our inheritance. Of course he was speaking to his congregation. However, I couldn’t help but ask the question if pastors could benefit from being under leadership too.


In the Bible, a high official came to Jesus asking Him to heal his servant. Jesus was going to accompany the official but the official said, “I am a man UNDER authority; send your Word.”

Balance: Spiritually-Minded and Still Earthly Good

So spiritually-minded NO earthly good

So spiritually-minded NO earthly good

I was in a leadership workshop where we were learning how to run a church board more effectively when the instructor had on one of his slides that we should consider including a 20 minute Bible study AND incorporate “Christian Language” in our meeting format.

He further went on to say that the meeting format should be inclusive of 3-parts.  One part dealt with Call to Community, the other Call to Holy Conversation and the other Call to Serve.

Okay, I could see a need already for a legend and that’s a problem.

Although I understood his intent and as Bible teacher myself, I know all to well the value and impact of the Word, but I could not help but speculate whether this was the right setting for such an elaborate format.

A relevant scripture directly relating to the business of the church and opening prayer, in my mind seemed to be sufficient.

Regarding the Christian language, I just wanted to pack up and run out screaming. I feel like some times with all the Christian lingo – we end up getting “Lost in the Sauce.”

There is a saying that comes to mind –

So spiritually minded that we are no earthly good

Let me give two examples:

Example one:

You have a job description for your custodian, it includes a statement to remind him that he is an ambassador of the Lord and that it is a honor to clean up God’s house and you further say, that like praying, giving offerings, preaching the word; cleaning and up-keeping God’s house is yet another form of worship.

Of course, there are three more paragraph highlighting how spiritual the job is and that it is important for the person to support the ministries of the church.
Then finally, you get to the specifics of the job, which by the way, may only be a three lined paragraph that can be summed up this way, “It’s a part-time job where you will be performing general cleaning and light maintenance tasks throughout the church.”

While we emphasize the spiritual, look what we have missed:

  • Is it his/her job to also clean annex building(s)?
  • Does the cleaning include having to clean windows?
  • Exactly what is part-time 10-20-32 hours a week?
  • Who do they report to?
  • Where’s the vacuum and where’s the trash bags?

Second example:

True story. We had an event at our church where someone cut their head on a shelf in the bathroom.  All we needed was some Neosporin and a band-aid.  It took 15 minutes and having to break through three levels of security just to find a band aid.Practical Spiritual

I’m just saying, we have to balance that which is spiritual with that which is practical and not ignore the specifics of a job or a system lest our church custodians define their own expectations as to what cleanliness is while someone bleeds to death in the church lobby while we try to find a band-aid.

By the way the class was great.  I’m glad I stayed in there for I would have missed out on a lot of good stuff.  And as God is so perfect in all of His ways, I didn’t have to say a thing because a retired colonel from NSA spoke everything that was in my head. Hallelujah!

Plus he added, “Sir, using your recommended model, when do we finally handle the business matters of the church?”

Do you have Bible study before your church board meetings? If so, how long?  And just how much “Christian Language” is spoken at your meetings?




The Bible Miniseries – Pastors, Great Outreach Opportunity!

Some of you maybe aware of the upcoming miniseries entitled, “The Bible” created and produced by Roma Downey of Touch by an Angel and her husband, Mark Burnett.

The Bible is a ten-hour, five-week, miniseries beginning on March 3, 2013 airing ‘prime time’ on the History Channel 8PM – 10PM.

The Bible will air on Sunday nights where viewers will see some of the best-known stories from The Bible:  Noah’s Ark,  the Exodus,  Jesus’ birth and His disciples. The final episode of the miniseries will air on Easter Sunday and will feature the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

Why broadcast on the History Channel?

Roma Downey, Star of Touch by an Angel and  husband, Mark Burnett (The Voice, Survivor, Shark Tank, Celebrity Apprentice).

Roma Downey, Star of Touch by an Angel and husband, Mark Burnett (The Voice, Survivor, Shark Tank, Celebrity Apprentice).

The History Channel has received a lot of criticism from the Christian community because of their slant on the Bible which is often wrong.

This makes one ask why Roma and Mark decided to showcase their movie on the History Channel. They indicated that..

  1. out of all the networks interviewed , the History Channel vowed to do the ‘best’ promotion and
  2. typically during the Easter season, the History Channel, as well as others, will broadcast shows calling our faith into question like: ‘Who was the Real Jesus,’ ‘Was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene?’ and shows like The DaVinci Code.

They saw it as an opportunity to broadcast the full Gospel, a meta narrative of the complete faithful message for the full month of March.


Pastors – Seize opportunity to be creative

Make the most of this opportunity to reach out to the people in your community who will be watching the series but may not attend church.

I believe Rick Warren said it best when he said, “One way to build a bridge between God’s Word and the issues of our day is to tie a sermon series into some cultural event, something that has already caught the attention of many people.”

He cited an example that when we were going through an economic crisis here in America, he preached a sermon on God’s principles for money management demonstrating HOW the Bible offers wise and practical advice on how to handle your finances.

Warren also took advantage on riding the Passion wave by Mel Gibson in that he preached a series entitled, “How Love Speaks: 7 Words From the Cross”.

Pastors –  Don’t forget Facebook and Twitter

Pastors, Bible teachers, small group leaders who are active with the social networks such as Facebook or Twitter,  you can connect with your congregation, groups, friends  using these platforms as well.  You can speak to one another during commercials or after the show or even the next day.

Pose questions of your own and or pose the questions using the study guidebook made available from .

Do you blog?

Of course, if you have a blog you could use that as a platform as well to dialog with your folks.

Resources are available – some even FREE!

Working with The Bible series team, Outreach has produced The Bible 30 Day Church Experience Kit along with a small group DVD study and personal guidebook so that you can help your church and community experience the Bible in a whole new way.

Outreach, Inc. also hopes pastors will encourage their flock to host their own viewing parties and are providing FREE “Bible Viewing Host Kits” to anyone interested.

Added Bonus

I just heard an interview from Mark and Roma that  the Lifetime Network will also air The Bible Miniseries on Mondays AND there will be a repeat broadcast on Wednesday evening on the History Channel – that’s THREE viewing opportunities available!

Won’t you ride this wave?

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