My Worst Easter Sermon + Preparation for Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday

I recently had the opportunity to talk with some friends and record a podcast for pastors in our movement.

My friend and colleague Mike Neglia (we serve together in the Expositors Collective) and I were interviewed by Aaron Salvato of CalvaryChapel.com and the GoodLion Podcast Network about different aspects of preparing for Good Friday and Easter.

As part of the discussion, Aaron asked Mike and I about our worst Easter sermon ever. As I was telling about my worst Easter sermon, I remembered something that happened on our first Easter (also our first Sunday) planting a church in Eger, Hungary. It wasn’t something I did (or even saw), but it was something which probably made it the worst Easter service ever for those who attended ūüėā. Here’s the video of that part of our discussion:

Aaron broke up our discussion into sections and created a helpful article, with Mike and I discussing about Good Friday, how to support staff and volunteers amongst the busyness of Easter weekend, and how to keep Easter fresh.

That article can be found here: Advice for Pastors and Preachers on Easter Sermons and More!

In Section 2, Mike and I discuss our differences of opinion on the practice of Lent! Check it out, and see what you think.

The Relationship Between Clergy & the Congregation + Study & the Spirit: with Dr. Roy Collins

In this week’s episode of the Theology for the People podcast, I speak with Dr. Roy Collins about the relationship between clergy and the congregation, and study and the Spirit.

Dr. Collins is a returning guest on the podcast; his previous episode: Guidelines for Biblical Interpretation: Properly Understanding & Faithfully Applying God’s Word, has been one of the most popular episodes on the podcast. In that episode, Dr. Roy alluded to his bad experiences in ministry as a pastor, and I responded that we could talk about that in a later episode. Well, that “later episode” is here!

In this episode, we talk about some of our experiences as pastors, specifically in regard to training and support. What is the responsibility of someone who is called to ministry to study to show themselves approved, a workman who can rightly divide the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15)? What responsibility does the congregation have towards the minister – for support and providing care and coaching?

We discuss these and other subjects in this episode.

Dr. Collins has served as a pastor and a professor of Biblical Interpretation at Colorado Christian University. He is a member of White Fields Community Church in Longmont, Colorado, where he teaches an adult Sunday School class at 8:00 AM on Sunday mornings.

We also explain and mention two initiatives I am involved in, which were designed to meet these needs:

  • Expositors Collective: a group of Christian leaders who are working together to raise up the next generation of Christ-centered Bible teachers and preachers, through our 2-day interactive seminars and our weekly podcast. Our next training seminar will be held in Costa Mesa, California, on February 18-19, 2022. If you’d like more information, and to register, go to expositorscollective.com
  • Cultivate Training Program: This is a relationally focused, local-church based training program which helps assess, train, and potentially deploy new church planters and missionaries.

Click here to listen to this episode, or listen in the embedded player below.

The Relationship Between Clergy & Congregation + Study & the Spirit – with Dr. Roy Collins Theology for the People

Dr. Roy Collins returns as a guest to the podcast to share his difficult experiences as a young pastor, and how they have led to the dual conclusions that a congregation has a responsibility to a pastor, both to train and to support them, and that a person in ministry has a responsibility to pursue ongoing training in order to stir up the gifts that God has placed within them, so they can serve people well.  In this episode, Dr. Collins speaks candidly about some of his experiences, and Nick shares some current training initiatives that can help provide support for the very areas which Dr. Collins addresses as being needs. For more information on these programs, visit: Expositors Collective Cultivate church planter training program Visit the Theology for the People website for more information and articles.

Navigating Issues of Christian Liberty without Legalism or Licentiousness – with David Guzik

Pastor and author David Guzik joined me on the Theology for the People podcast last week to discuss the topic of Christian liberty. 

How do we make sense of “gray areas,” things like drinking alcohol, tattoos, smoking tobacco, music choices, etc. about which some Christians have strong convictions that a Christian person should never engage in those things, whereas others feel that they can enjoy them in moderation without any conflict in their fidelity to following Jesus?

How do we honor one another without being held hostage by every person’s personal whims? David helps shed some light on these and other questions related to this topic in this episode.

David is the author of a free online commentary of the entire Bible, which can be found at EnduringWord.com, along with the audio and video archives of David’s teachings through most of the books of the Bible. Make sure to check out his weekly Q&A sessions on his YouTube Channel, Thursdays at 12:00 PM Pacific Time.

David and I serve together on the steering committee of the Expositors Collective, a group dedicated to raising up the next generation of Christ-centered expository preachers and Bible teachers through weekly podcast episodes, 2-day intensive seminars, and other resources. The next Expositors Collective in-person training weekend will be in Orange County, California on February 18-19, 2022. More information and registration available here.

If you would like to submit a question or suggest a topic for future articles or podcast episodes, you can do that here, by clicking the Ask a Question or Suggest a Topic button.

You can listen to this podcast episode in the embedded player below (for desktop users), or by clicking this link: Navigating Issues of Christian Liberty without Legalism or Licentiousness – with David Guzik

Navigating Issues of Christian Liberty without Legalism or Licentiousness – with David Guzik Theology for the People

Pastor and author David Guzik joins the podcast this week to talk about the topic of Christian liberty.  How do we make sense of "gray areas," things like drinking alcohol, tattoos, smoking tobacco, music choices, etc. about which some Christians have strong convictions that Christians should never do those things, whereas others feel that they can enjoy these things in moderation without any conflict with their fidelity to following Jesus? How do we honor one another without being held hostage by every person's personal whim? David helps shed some light on these and other questions related to this topic. David is the author of a free online commentary of the entire Bible which can be found at EnduringWord.com, along with the audio and video archives of David's teachings through books of the Bible. Make sure to check out his weekly Q&A sessions on his YouTube Channel, Thursdays at 12:00 PM Pacific. Visit the Theology for the People blog at nickcady.org, where you can submit questions or suggest topics for articles or future podcast episodes.

Christ-Centered Hermeneutics – Part 1: Is it a stretch to say that everything in the Bible points to Jesus?

Mike Neglia is the lead pastor of Calvary Cork in Cork, Ireland, and together we serve on the steering committee of the Expositors Collective.

At our Expositors Collective training weekends, Mike usually teaches the module on Christ-Centered Preaching, which is a topic near and dear to both his heart and mine, so it seemed like a good topic to discuss with him on an episode of the Theology for the People Podcast.

In this episode we discuss Christ-Centered hermeneutics, first by defining “hermeneutics,” then by explaining the case for Christ-Centered hermeneutics and seeking answer the question: “Is it a stretch to say that everything in the Bible points to Jesus?”

This is the first part of a two-part series on this topic, so stay tuned for next week’s episode, in which we will respond to some common objections to Christ-Centered hermeneutics.

Listen to this week’s episode in the embedded player below, or by clicking here: Christ-Centered Hermeneutics – Part 1: Is it a stretch to say that everything in the Bible points to Jesus?

Christ-Centered Hermeneutics – Part 1: Is it a stretch to say that everything in the Bible points to Jesus? – with Mike Neglia Theology for the People

Mike Neglia, lead pastor of Calvary Cork in Cork, Ireland joins the podcast this week to talk about Christ-centered hermeneutics: the idea that the Bible is a book about Jesus, and therefore everything in Scripture ultimately points to Jesus is some way.  What are "hermeneutics" and is it really accurate to view the Bible in this way? Furthermore, we will discuss if this way of looking at the Bible is actually helpful to the reader of the Bible or the listener of a sermon. Mike and Nick are both on the steering committee of Expositors Collective, a group that seeks to collaborate in order to raise up the next generation of expository preachers and teachers of God's Word, and Mike is the host of the Expositors Collective Podcast, which has an incredible line-up of guests, with interviews to help you grow in your private study and your public proclamation of God's Word. Resources mentioned in this episode: Christ-Centered Preaching online course Center-Church (Timothy Keller) Preaching (Timothy Keller) Preaching to a Post-Everything World (Zack Eswine)

Expositors Collective Webinar w/ Ryan Huguley

Because of the ongoing Coronavirus situation we postponed the Expositors Collective in-person two-day training weekends in Seattle and Honolulu, but we continue to look for ways to continue our mission to equip, encourage, and mentor the next generation of expository Bible teachers and preachers.

Our next webinar will be on September 19, 2020 from 9:00-10:00 AM Pacific Time (10:00-11:00 AM Mountain Time), and the theme is: Preaching to the Heart of Our Hearers.

We will be joined by pastor and author Ryan Huguley. Ryan is the pastor of Ridgeline Church in Salt Lake City, Utah and is the the author of 8 Hours or Less: Preparing Faithful Sermons Faster.

Ryan has a heart to help teachers and preachers grow in their calling. He has been a guest on the Expositors Collective Podcast and we are excited to have him join us for this webinar which will include a short message followed by an opportunity to ask questions and discuss topics.

Here’s an audio clip from Ryan introducing the webinar:

This is a free event, but is limited to the first 100 who sign up, which you can do by clicking the button below.

Calvary Chapel + CGN International Conference 2020: Online August 10-13

Every summer Calvary¬†Chapel puts on a conference for pastors and ministry leaders in Southern California. This year the conference has been moved online because of COVID, but one of the benefits is that this opens up the opportunity for those who can’t easily take a week off and travel to California to be able to join and be encouraged.¬†

This year’s conference will be August¬†10-13, 2020. The cost is $10, which gives you access to all of the bonus content, including a seminar I was part of with Expositors Collective on the topic of¬†expository and Christ-centered preaching and¬†teaching.

We are using a platform for the conference which allows a lot of interaction as well as multiple “rooms” you can join during the conference for different seminars on topics those in ministry will surely find helpful and interesting for the areas where you lead.

Click this link for more information and to register: https://conference.calvarychapel.com

Writing Faithful Sermons Faster: Discussion with Ryan Huguley

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Click this image to listen to the episode

It was the day after Thanksgiving in 2017, and we were in San Diego, where my wife Rosemary is from. The next day, Saturday, we were driving back to Colorado, so I could make it back for church on Sunday, which meant that I had one day to prepare my sermon for that Sunday.

Rosemary and the kids decided to go to the zoo, which gave me 12 hours to prepare. At this point, I usually spent 20-25 hours preparing each sermon, so this was a daunting task.

8 Hours or Less: Writing faithful sermons faster by [Huguley, Ryan]

After they left our AirBnB for the day, I was scrolling Instagram (instead of studying!), and came across a post of someone holding a copy of the book: 8 Hours or Less: Writing Faithful Sermons Faster by Ryan Huguley.

I immediately did the math in my head: If this book could really help me do what the title claimed, then that would give me 3.5 hours to read the book, and 8 hours to write my sermon! I purchased the book on Amazon, read it, wrote my sermon, and made it back to Colorado on time for church that Sunday. That sermon can be found here: 5 Solas: Soli Deo Gloria (Colossians 3:16-24)

Since that time, I have implemented Ryan’s process, and shared about my growth in this area at the Expositors Collective training weekends.

Related post: How Much Time Should a Pastor Spend Preparing a Sermon?

Recently I had the opportunity to chat with Ryan over Zoom about doing ministry in Salt Lake City, his method for sermon preparation, and what advice he has for those who teach and preach.

The recording of that conversation was just released on the Expositors Collective Podcast. You can listen to it here: Expositors Collective Podcast: Writing Faithful Sermons Faster – Ryan Huguley, or click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Check it out, and I’d love to hear your feedback on in the comments!

Online Events: Expositors Collective Webinar & Prayer Around the World

Expositors Collective Webinar: May 9, 2020

The world as we know it is always changing. We have all experienced that recently with the COVID-19 crisis. In order for us to¬†preach and teach God’s Word faithfully in an ever-changing world, we need to be led and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

As part of our ongoing mission to help equip the next generation of expository Bible teachers, we are excited to announce our first-ever online event: an interactive webinar on May 9, 2020 from 9-11 AM Pacific Standard Time (10AM-12PM Mountain Time)

Similar to our training weekends, the webinar will include short messages from experienced Bible teachers, and interactive opportunities to ask questions and discuss topics.

Schedule

There will be two talks, interspersed with opportunities to ask questions and discuss topics.

  • Brian Brodersen: “The Holy Spirit & Preaching”
  • David Guzik: “Consistent Message, Changing Styles”

For more information and how to join, visit ExpositorsCollective.com

Prayer Around the World Extended for Another Week

For the past 3 weeks Calvary Global Network leaders around the world have been leading live prayer on the Calvary Chapel Facebook page.

I have been leading from 1:00-2:00 PM Mountain Time each day, and it has been encouraging to see God use it.

It would be great to have you join me for these times of prayer; it has certainly been good for me to spend an hour in prayer each day for all that’s going on. I’m sure God would use it in your life as well.

Ministry in the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond

This past week I was honored to be interviewed by David Snead on his podcast. David is a missionary in Lviv, Ukraine – and he is one of the most organized people I know.

We had a great discussion about my background in ministry, ministering in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, Calvary Chapel, and expository preaching. Check it out:

Preaching Funerals

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In the latest episode of the Expositors Collective podcast, Mike Neglia and I discussed preaching funerals.

Click here to listen: Episode 100 – Preaching Funerals. Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts, or on Spotify.

As it so happens, this is the 100th episode of the podcast. As Mike shares in the intro to the episode, he had planned some fanfare and celebration for this milestone, but with the current COVID-19 crisis, it seems that an episode on preaching funerals is more apropos.

Mike and I recorded this episode in Austria back in January during the Calvary Chapel European Pastors Conference in Millstatt.

Whether you find yourself in the position of preaching or leading a funeral, or if you simply want to listen in to my process and insights, I encourage you to check out this episode.