From the Editor:

Teaching a Christian Worldview

Have You Lost Your Mind?
Improving Vocal Projection

Power of Faith
Citizenship, Culture
Directions, Asking the Right Person

Link of the Week

Preacher’s Bookshelf


And Finally…

“Discipline is the bridge between thought and accomplishment.”
(Jim Rohn)

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    Vol. 8, No. 33 September 15, 2009    
Michael Duduit

I have long sensed that an essential task of the church in our day is to emphasize the development of a Christian worldview in the lives of our people — and especially our young people. (That is one reason I am so committed to the role of the Christ-centered university.) I just read Chuck Colson’s most recent commentary on the topic and wanted to share a portion of that with you:

“I see no hope for our culture if the Church is not revitalized. Culture is religion incarnate; culture shapes politics. So if we’re going to change the direction of our society, the Church has to fulfill its role as the conscience of society.

“Well, I can already hear you saying, ‘Isn’t worldview just an abstract subject that tweedy professors like to talk about?’ Emphatically, no! Everybody’s got a worldview that determines how he lives his life. The sum total of all the worldviews in our culture determines the kind of society we have. And frankly, Christians are losing the worldview battle.

“We need to teach the next generation what we believe, why we believe it, why it matters, and how it plays out in every walk of life. Worldview determines how we form our families, what is taught in schools, what laws our communities pass, what kind of music we listen to, and what we believe about art and science.

“The great apologist Francis Schaeffer was right when he said that Christians must be missionaries to their own culture. Our culture speaks a different language, and thinks differently, than Christians do. And if we don’t understand this, we can’t communicate effectively with our non-believing neighbors. …

“I pray fervently that there will be a mighty movement of God’s people learning and then teaching Christian worldview to others. If we don’t, if we sit passively in our pews, we’re going to witness the world collapsing — or perhaps I should say finish collapsing — around us.”

Michael Duduit, Editor

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MichaelDuduit

On this week’s Preaching Podcast: Perry Noble talks about the amazing growth of NewSpring Church in Anderson, S.C., and about his own approach to planning and preaching. Listen here.


In a recent posting on his blog, Perry Noble offers 16 ways you can know a leader has lost his mind. Here’s the first half of the list:

#1 – He refuses to admit his mistakes.
#2 – He begins to blame the problems on people or circumstances rather than actually seeking out what the problem might be.
#3 – He refuses to listen to the team assembled around him.
#4 – He fights every idea that isn’t his own, thinking his originality is what must keep the church afloat.
#5 – He refuses to face reality.
#6 – He is unwilling to make the necessary changes because it would be highly unpopular.
#7 – He tries to listen to what everyone has to say about every situation.
#8 – He begins to believe that God’s favor on his life is because of how good he is rather than because of how good God is!  (You can read the whole list here.)


In a recent article for LifeWay’s Pastors Today newsletter, Ginger Macfarland writes about ways to improve the projection of your voice. Among her suggestions:

“The term ‘projection’ is a theatre term which refers to making your voice carry throughout the entire audience. Projection isn’t just an increase in volume; it involves vocal personality and includes:

1. Articulation (also called enunciation)
Effective speakers will make use of the lips, teeth, tongue, and the jaw to form words correctly and will avoid running those words together. I always have to remind myself: ‘The audience is hearing this for the first time, not the seventieth. Will they understand the words?’

2. Pronunciation
The correct pronouncement of words is a big part of being understood. Check out the dictionary, and set the pronunciation in stone. This is especially helpful in those Old Testament sermons on the lives of kings not named Ahab or David. Consider using Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary available with Bible Navigator.

3. Volume
Intensity in level is not necessarily equal to intensity of understandability. In other words, louder isn’t always better; it’s just, well, louder.

4. Relaxation
Being nervous usually goes hand in hand with being on stage. Unfortunately, a tense speaker can rarely be heard. He tends to speak lower and more softly. A relaxed speaker, however, can still lower his voice and project — if he articulates his words.

5. Confidence
Your goal is to rehearse the script enough times to allow your cast to feel comfortable with their lines and actions. Actors who feel secure in those things will be more likely to project and be understood.” (Click here to read the full article.)


When Joseph Ton was a pastor in Romania, he was arrested by the secret police for publishing a sermon calling for the churches to refuse to submit to the Communist government’s demand for control over their ministries. When an official told him he must renounce his sermon, he replied, “No, sir! I won’t do that!” The official, surprised that anyone would respond so forcefully to the secret police, said, “Aren’t you aware that I can use force against you?”

“Sir, let me explain that to you,” Ton said. “You see, your supreme weapon is killing. My supreme weapon is dying…You know that my sermons are spread all over the country on tapes. When you kill me, I only sprinkle them with my blood. They will speak 10 times louder after that, because everybody will say, ‘That preacher meant it because he sealed it with his blood.’ So go on, sir, kill me. When you kill me, I win the supreme victory.” The secret police released him, knowing his martyrdom would be far more of a problem than his sermon. (Skip Gray, “The Way of the Cross,” Discipleship Journal)


In his sermon “A Terrible Loyalty,” George Mason says: “For those of us who grew up on TV, the quirky ‘Gilligan’s Island’ is part of our culture. You know it must be because now that we are middle-aged with some buying power, commercials are using the theme song and bringing back characters to plug products. But what was its appeal? Endearing characters, people we could identify with, certainly. The blow-hard skipper, the brainy professor, the millionaire and his wife, the movie star, a plain-Jane girl, and a bumbling first mate. Sounds a lot like society generally. But the story is the thing. Shipwrecked on an island, they don’t always get along, they are none of them alike, but they all need each other. They have to work together to survive and to build the best life possible because they are all in the same boat.

“G.K. Chesterton, a British journalist and novelist, and one of this century’s sharpest wits, once said of humanity: ‘We are all in a small boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.’ The same can be said of Christians and civil government. We owe each other a terrible loyalty. The church cannot and should not imagine itself apart from the world — this is our home now, even if we think we are just a passin’ through. The world outside is our neighbors. We need each other this side of kingdom come, and God will sort out how we’ll relate after that.” (from www.clergy.net)

From the September-October issue of Preaching …

Discussing the relationship of preaching and leadership, John Maxwell observes, “All great leaders are effective communicators. It is the vehicle for the vision. For me to know where I want to take a group of people and not have the ability to cast that dream, preach that message, communicate that heart, makes the dream impossible. The vision won’t be accomplished.

“So one of the reasons I have committed so much time not only in teaching leadership but communication is I think they are so compatible. You show me a great leader, and I’ll show you a person who became a great leader because of his or her ability to communicate effectively. You can be a good preacher and not a good leader, but you cannot be a good leader without being a good preacher or a good communicator. You have to be able to communicate the vision.”

Every issue of Preaching contains insightful articles on preaching, plus great model sermons and practical resources. If you’re not a current subscriber to Preaching magazine, click here (or call, toll free, 1-800-527-5226) to go begin your subscription!


Also in the September-October issue of Preaching: “What Would Jesus Tweet?” (on preaching and social networking sites), interviews with Mark Batterson and Jud Wilhite, Stan Toler on “Preaching and Leading,” and much more. Order your subscription today!

“Are we going to die in our religion or die in our devotion?” That’s the question David Platt poses in this powerful sermon on Hebrews 13. The sermon runs almost 37 minutes, but don’t quit listening too soon — the second half contains a series of stories that will stir your soul. The message is a powerful reminder that God calls us to a Kingdom mission that extends far beyond the walls of our churches. You can listen to the audio here.

“To change and to change for the better are two different things.(German proverb)

Stepping into the chasm between traditionalist evangelicals and emerging church leaders, Jim Belcher proposes a third way that offers a missional church model that values tradition while being open to innovation. His new book, Deep Church (IVP), offers valuable insights about creating churches that can reach a postmodern culture without capitulating to it. This is a valuable book that today’s church leaders will want to read.


Speaking of reach the unchurched, Lost and Found (B&H Books) by Ed Stetzer, Richie Stanley and Jason Hayes provides in-depth understanding of unchurched young adults in America today. By understanding who they are, what they believe and what motivates them, churches can be better equipped to engage them with the gospel. Of particular value are the examples of churches that are effectively reaching these young adults in their own communities.



Churches go about their work in vastly different ways; and in the book What Is Your Church’s Personality? (P&R), Philip Douglass helps church leaders better understand the personality profile of their church so that they can better match the church’s personality with the leadership profile of their pastor. His eight personality types are: Fellowship, Relational, Strategizer, Adventurous, Inspirational, Entrepreneurial, Organizer, and Expressive. So where does your church fit?

(Click on the title to learn more or order from Amazon.)


Robert was thinking about buying a new house in the country and wanted to drive out and look at it. He found the town but couldn’t locate the road. He drove over to city hall and asked around, but no one had heard of the road. Even the policemen and fire personnel were stumped.

Robert then went into city hall and consulted a map, with no luck, until finally one young man came to his aid. He pointed to the map, showing exactly how to get there. Robert thanked the young man and asked if he was with the police or fire department.

“Neither,” he replied. “I deliver pizzas.” (from Cybersalt Digest)



Dear Pastor,
I liked your sermon where you said that good health is more important then money, but I still want a raise in my allowance.
Eleanor (Age 12, Sarasota)

Dear Pastor,
Please pray for all the airline pilots. I am flying to California tomorrow.
Laurie (Age 10, New York City) 

Dear Pastor,
I hope to go to heaven some day but later than sooner.
Ellen (Age 9, Athens)

Dear Pastor,
Please say a prayer for our Little League team. We need God’s help or a new pitcher.
Thank you.
Alexander (Age 10, Raleigh)

Dear Pastor,
My father says I should learn the Ten Commandments. But I don’t think I want to because we have enough rules already in my house.
Joshua (Age 10, South Pasadena)

Dear Pastor,
Are there any devils on earth? I think there may be one in my class.
Carla (Age 10, Salina)

Dear Pastor,
I liked your sermon on Sunday. Especially when it was finished.
Ralph (Age 11, Akron)

Dear Pastor,
How does God know the good people from the bad people? Do you tell Him or does He read about it in the newspapers?
Marie (Age 9, Lewisto)

It was the wrong move.

A French chess grandmaster showed up drunk for his match during a tournament in India and lost after just 11 moves — because he fell asleep and officials couldn’t rouse him.

According to a Sept. 4 Reuters story, Vladislav Tkachiev arrived for his match against India’s Praveen Kumar “in such an inebriated state that he could hardly sit in his chair and soon fell asleep, resting his head on the table. Indian papers carried pictures of the world No. 58 sleeping and the organizers’ futile attempts to wake him up.

“The game was awarded to the Indian on the technical ground of Tkachiev being unable to complete his moves within the stipulated time of an hour and 30 minutes.”

He was allowed to take part in the remainder of the competition, however. Probably after lots and lots of coffee.

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