Each week we will be highlighting important resources. Check back each Friday to see what we have dug up for you. From this week’s cache:
1. Preacher’s Toolkit: How Long Should It Take Me to Prepare a Sermon?: Dave Harvey – Harvey says, “If you have read this far and remain desperate for some kind of number, I’ll tell you my sermon preparation during an expositional series typically takes 10 to 15 hours. Sadly, these numbers are higher than they were in my maiden voyages from the preaching harbor, primarily because I set sail on a topical dinghy rather than an expositional battleship. If you’re like me, you discovered early that ignorance certainly reduces prep time. Ironically, it also lengthens sermons. If preaching preparation sounds like a lot of work, then I’ve achieved an important goal for this piece. It is work—glorious, resplendent, awe-inspiring labor for both the lost and the found. But the strenuousness of the work isn’t debilitating when the One who calls you to it also empowers you for it and incites your delight in it.”
2. Five Benefits of Regular Family Worship: Tom Ascol – Ascol notes, “Over the years I have asked groups of Christian adults how many of them grew up in homes where there was regular family worship. Early on it was rare to find people (typically of my generation or older) who answered affirmatively. In recent years the number of positive responses has increased dramatically—almost exclusively with younger generations of believers. This is a hopeful and encouraging indication of biblical reformation taking place.”
3. Can You Vote Your Conscience?: Bryce Young – Young says, “What your conscience will do is convict you if you are voting out of sinful comfort or greed or fear. Or it will minister God’s approval if you act, as well as you’re able, in an effort to obey the command to honor him and love your neighbor.”
4. What is the Gift of Singleness?: Tim Challies – Challies says, “Right there, in the context of marriage and singleness, Paul insists that each Christian has “his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.” God gives to some people the good gift of marriage and he gives to others the good gift of singleness. But how can you know if you’ve been given that gift of singleness? You can know through a simple test: Are you married or are you single?”
5. Why Tim Keller Wrote a Prequel to ‘The Reason for God’: Matt Smethurst – Smethurst notes, “If after Making Sense of God you’re motivated to explore the rational case for Christianity, you can move on to The Reason for God. In general, I’d say that younger non-believers need to hear why Christianity makes emotional and cultural sense before they’re willing to devote significant time to weighing the more traditional, rational arguments for our faith.”
Matt Manry is the Assistant Pastor at Life Bible Church in Canton, Georgia. He writes at matthewwmanry.com.