Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Exodus 24

So today I learnt about 3 types of preaching mentioned in the Exodus 24 - speaking, writing and reading.

(v3)Preaching is about speaking the words of God, given by God in a private place. We come from the presence of God and go into the presence of people (and God's presence is always with us!).

(v4)Moses then wrote down everthing that God said. One method to practise is to preach first, then write it down afterwards. Normally we write our talk before hand(don't we? yeah right!!), but actually no joke, I spoke at 1st Bangor BB last Friday night and did come home and write my talk out again. I have been chatting to McCready about this a lot recently, in that we should write out our talks before hand, just to make sure we give of our best and properly prepare. Clarity of thought happens when you write something down.

Ian Dickson(BBC) then asked "What is preaching? Is it for the moment?

So should we record sermons(on paper/online/audio/visual)?
Repeat sermons?
Are sermons an art form?
Can we craft a sermon over a period of time?
Does God have a specific word for a specific group?
Can we give the same message but change the application(for different groups)?

The third area(in v7)was how we can use reading God's word in preaching. We should not neglect the public reading of scripture as it promises to not return void(Isaiah 55v11) - thogh from experience i have learnt to never read out John 4 as it is too long and can ruin the whole service(just for you Andre!)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jeremiah Lanphier

Read this story after listening to John Piper preach on Matthew 9 v35-38. Listen to it or download it here!

Jeremiah Lanphier's Example
I will close with a record of something God did 130 years ago in New York City. It illustrates how God has started every harvest time in history through the concerted prayer of his people. Toward the middle of the last century the glow of earlier religious awakenings had faded. America was prosperous and felt little need to call on God. But in the 1850s . . .

Secular and religious conditions combined to bring about a crash. The third great panic in American history swept the giddy structure of speculative wealth away. Thousands of merchants were forced to the wall as banks failed and railroads went into bankruptcy. Factories were shut down and vast numbers thrown out of employment. New York City alone having 30,000 idle men. In October 1857, the hearts of people were thoroughly weaned from speculation and uncertain gain, while hunger and despair stared them in the face.

On July 1, 1857, a quiet and zealous businessman named Jeremiah Lanphier took up an appointment as a City Missionary in down-town New York. Lanphier was appointed by the North Church of the Dutch Reformed denomination. This church was suffering from depletion of membership due to the removal of the population from the down-town to the better residential quarters, and the new City Missionary was engaged to make diligent visitation in the immediate neighborhood with a view to enlisting church attendance among the floating population of the lower city. The Dutch Consistory felt that it had appointed an ideal layman for the task in hand, and so it was.

Burdened so by the need, Jeremiah Lanphier decided to invite others to join him in a noonday prayer-meeting, to be held on Wednesdays once a week. He therefore distributed a handbill:


As often as the language of prayer is in my heart; as often as I see my need of help; as often as I feel the power of temptation; as often as I am made sensible of any spiritual declension or feel the aggression of a worldly spirit.

In prayer we leave the business of time for that of eternity, and intercourse with men for intercourse with God.

A day Prayer Meeting is held every Wednesday, from 12 to 1 o'clock, in the Consistory building in the rear of the North Dutch Church, corner of Fulton and William Streets (entrance from Fulton and Ann Streets).

This meeting is intended to give merchants, mechanics, clerks, strangers, and business men generally an opportunity to stop and call upon God amid the perplexities incident to their respective avocations. It will continue for one hour; but it is also designed for those who may find it inconvenient to remain more than five or ten minutes, as well as for those who can spare the whole hour.

Accordingly at twelve noon, September 23, 1857, the door was opened and the faithful Lanphier took his seat to await the response to his invitation. Five minutes went by. No one appeared. The missionary paced the room in a conflict of fear and faith. Ten minutes elapsed. Still no one came. Fifteen minutes passed. Lanphier was yet alone. Twenty minutes; twenty-five; thirty; and then at 12.30 p.m., a step was heard on the stairs, and the first person appeared, then another, and another, and another, until six people were present, and the prayer meeting began. On the following Wednesday, October 7th, there were forty intercessors.

Thus, in the first week of October 1857, it was decided to hold a meeting daily instead of weekly.

Within six months, ten thousand business men were gathering daily for prayer in New York, and within two years, a million converts were added to the American churches.

Undoubtedly the greatest revival in New York's colorful history was sweeping the city, and it was of such an order to make the whole nation curious. There was no fanaticism, no hysteria, simply an incredible movement of the people to pray.

Is there a Jeremiah Lanphier among you?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Biblical Theology of Preaching

So just started to go to BBC one morning a week to look at Contemporary preaching. Its a small class and there is lots of interaction and discussion, which I love. Really looking forward to this opportunity of reading and going a bit deeper. DC has joined me too which means a good laugh! Wanted to get back into blogging as a way of recording my thoughts on this expereince.

John Stott says," Technique can only make us orators; if we want to be preachers, theology is what we need."

Some questions that arise:
What are we doing when we preach?
What is God doing when we preach?
To whom are we preaching?