Saturday 27 March 2010

Book review Bruce Mawhinney ‘Preaching With Freshness’

Book review Bruce Mawhinney ‘Preaching With Freshness’
Recently I have been thinking about the pressure and challenges many of our Pastors face on a weekly basis in preparing and presenting three sermons per week (many of who also work a full time job) to the same congregation, year in and year out. One hundred and fifty sermons of forty minutes each, is it itself a full time job!

Preaching God’s word is certainly one of thee (if not thee) highest callings for a Christian and there is so much that must happen in a sermon. It must be Engaging, Educational, Edifying and full of Exhortations to name but a few alliterative objectives. The problem is many sermons fail to ‘hit the target’ and achieve what God’s word set out to do (Isa 55:11). So to this end it is critical that those of us who involved in this highest of callings give ourselves to this task more than any other (Acts 6:1-7). This is why I recommend ‘Preaching with Freshness’. Whilst it is a book written by an academic, it is not written in an academic way but in the form of a novel. The book has a very engaging story line and contains many ‘nuggets’ of applicable truth.

Once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down and finished the book in less than two weeks, which for me, given my other reading is very good. We often say when recommending books ‘chew the meat and spit out the bones’, well this book has a lot of ‘chewable’ meat. This book requires not just one reading, but to be re read every couple of years. This is a book that has been on my bookshelf for a while and after finally reading it wish I had read it sooner. This book is certainly not the only book you should read on preaching, but certainly one of the books you should read, pray it helps.

Clement Okusi

Thursday 11 March 2010

Preaching in Walthamstow

Just finished a weekend of preaching in the Walthamstow congregation. Went with the whole family and it was good to catch up with some of the 'older' folks as well as meeting lots of new folks. Some of the saints have faithfully attended the Church for over 20 years and truly are pillars and good examples.

There was a tangible touch of the Holy Spirit in the services and several people prayed to receive Jesus (amen). I preached in the AM 'don't worry be happy' (Matt 6:25-34) and in the PM I preached on 'the Love of the father' (Rom 8:15-17). I used a short video clip in each sermon and really felt people were helped during both services.

Then on Monday we had a 'powerful' Men's Discipleship class, where I preached on having 'Holy Ambitions' (Luke 22:24-27). In essence I was challenging the men to not only be ambitious but to be kingdom minded in their ambitions. The Q&A session at the end was very good with lots of interesting questions and comments. It was a good turn out of men (about 150) which is always a blessing to see.

Lets keep Walthamstow in our prayers.