Sinclair Ferguson examines the life and preaching ministry of John Flavel. Flavel was a non-conformist preacher in the 17th century who was exiled from Dartmouth during the Great Ejection. He, along with many others, was not allowed to preach within five miles of any major population center. Consequently, he was devoted to ministering to a single flock in an out-of-the-way place in the south of England.
Flavel epitomized the Puritan style of preaching, which was characterized by three dimensions.
- The ministry of the gospel is a ministry of the Word of God
- The ministry of the Word of God is a ministry to this particular world.
- The ministry of the Word of God to this particular world by this particular worker.
This last dimension is something that is not well understood in our contemporary day, as sermons are reduced to mere facts and figures independent of personality. This didn’t sidestep the importance of carefully preaching the text. The Puritan sermon was a carefully wrought piece of work that began with a clear introduction to the text, an analysis of the key points of the text, an exposition of the truths enshrined in the text, and a clear explanation of how the particular truths arise from the text, and sensitivity in the handling of any difficulties. All of this would be done using plain speech and manifest love for the congregation.
Flavel was a remarkable illustration of this.
In fact, Flavel’s preaching and writing was very popular. A number of his books have remained in print and are available today.
Keeping the Heart, which expounded on the principles of Proverbs.
Divine Conduct; or The Mystery of Providence
Ferguson on John Flavel >>>
The folks at Proclamation Trust have knocked it out of the park in technicolor. David Jackman, whom I admire for his engaging preaching, has created an extensive video and book study on preaching. And it’s all free.
Here’s their intro video.
From their website:
The purpose of this series of videos and accompanying manuals is to put resources into the hands of those who long, under God, to train up a new generation of faithful and effective Bible preachers.
Topics include: the nature and necessity of revelation, interpretation and application; apostolic priorities and practice; contemporary challenges in the culture and the church; careful reading and thoughtful analysis of Scripture; watching your life and doctrine; the Word of Christ dwelling in us richly.
This course helps you to train others to acquire and develop the necessary practical tools and skills to expound the Bible’s message. This includes both the preparation of the text and the presentation of the preaching, so as to connect that message to our contemporary cultures. The course seeks also to motivate the preacher to progress and perseverance, through spiritual encouragement, not only to be a skilled workman, but also to be maturing as a humble servant, whom God can use.
The combination of video teaching and downloadable materials for further discussion and practice exercises make this a flexible resource for training groups.
There is a worldwide need for the Word of God to be proclaimed and for Christians to be more deeply rooted in its truth. That is the heartbeat of Equipped to Preach the Word.
This is an amazing source from a place I consider a gold standard of preaching and equipping preachers to preach. Thank you David Jackman and your team at Proclamation Trust.
Visit the site here:
Equipped to Preach the Word >>>
Clarus is the SW Regional Conference of The Gospel Coalition held in Albuquerque, NM this year in March. Among the plenaries were Don Carson, David Helm and Alistair Begg. The title of the conference was “Assembled Under the Word: Preaching and the Church.
Clarus 2015 >>>
At the recent 9Marks at Southern Conference Mark Dever mentioned a sermon that had a lasting impact on him as a preacher. It was a sermon by pastor David King titled “You Old Testament Sermon Needs to Get Saved.” The message is a strong reminder that the Old Testament speaks of Christ and the Gospel, and if we miss that, our Old Testament sermons will be reduced to Pharisaical moralisms.
Your Old Testament Sermon Needs to Get Saved >>>
This years Expositors Conference was titled “The Preeminence of Christ in Preaching”, and featured Steve Lawson and Al Mohler as speakers. The conference was held in October at Lawson’s church in Mobile, Alabama.
Lawson delivered two 3-part messages: The Preeminence of Christ in Preaching, and The Good Shepherd and His Sheep.
Mohler gave three messages: The God Who Speaks, The God Who Shakes, and the God Who Saves.
Expositors Conference 2011 >>>
John Piper’s 4 session preaching course from Re:Train is available at Desiring God, in video only (as far as I could find) which won’t be a problem unless you have an older iPod. This course was taught at Mars Hill Church in February 2010. Here is the course description:
The aim of this class is to strengthen the student’s confidence in the biblical centrality of preaching in the corporate life of the church, and to increase their ability to preach with biblical faithfulness, gospel-permeated exposition, Christ-exalting clarity, soulconverting power, culture-confronting courage, winsome humility, and love-producing effectiveness.
The Preacher as Prophet pt. 1 >>>
The Preacher as Prophet pt. 2 >>>
The Preacher as Prophet pt. 3 >>>
The Preacher as Prophet pt. 4 >>>
The syllabus >>>
St. Helen’s Bishopsgate Church in London recently hosted the SEGP 2011 Extended Weekend with Don Carson speaking a lengthy series on Building the Church with the Gospel. The messages are:
Only One Life: Why Consider Full Time Gospel Ministry
Only One Life: Q&A
The Rich Man and Lazarus
The Parable of the Talents
Living & Serving in Light of the End
Preserving the Gospel and Gospel Churches
Leaders Who Build Churches Part 1
Leaders Who Build Churches Part 2
I am really looking forward to this series as soon as my current iPod load clears up, and then I will post more about it.
Building the Church with the Gospel >>>
Carl Trueman delivers a powerhouse of a message on the place the preacher has as a prophet who confronts people with God. An important message for the contemporary church, which has reduced the function of preaching to that of a coach or an advisor rather than one who communicates the voice of God.
The Preacher As Prophet >>>
Dennis Prutow, Professor of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary and author of the book So Pastor, What’s Your Point?, is interviewed on Christ the Center.
The Point of a Sermon >>>
Christ the Center tackles the false dichotomy that many Christian’s see in the role of a pastor — often choosing between his study of Scripture to teach his flock and his doing of pastoral ministry that focuses on caring for the flock.
Pastoral Ministry: Learning or Doing?