Showing posts from April, 2017

The Best Place to Make Mistakes. Ever.

(Originally sent out as an article under Eagles' Simply Proclaim)

There’s a saying that practice doesn’t make perfect—it makes permanent. What practice does is ingrain habits in us, but we need to be sure those aren’t the wrong habits. And that’s where feedback comes in.

The question: “How can I improve my preaching?” is always at the back of my mind. The logical answer would be: “By preaching more.”

But before I got comfortable addressing a church congregation, I wanted to practice and receive constructive feedback without being bashed with criticism. What I needed was to find a place friendly and loving enough to encourage me to continue to improve my preaching, without tearing me apart.

My answer, as I journey through this phase of learning to preach, is to immerse myself in a community of like-minded budding preachers whom I meet regularly and hold myself accountable to.

Here are three ways you’ll benefit from learning in a group:

1. They experience the same struggle as you.

What can…

How I Break Through Difficulty in Preparing My Sermons

(Originally sent out as an article under Eagles' Simply Proclaim)
Fact: Preachers don’t always get to choose their sermon topics. I once quaked whenever I was assigned a passage I wasn’t familiar with, or a topic I didn’t know much about. If there ever was Goliath to slay in my life, this was it!

I was terrified. What if I dishonored the Word of God by making a mistake, or lost my audience through poor discussion of the topic?

Here’s how I’ve learnt to navigate the difficult process of preparing a sermon, particularly on an unfamiliar text. I’ve come to divide my efforts into the three things a Bible message needs, at minimum. When I focused on delivering just those three things, I knew that I would be able to preach clearly and touch my audience no matter what. That would get me through any difficult message, and set up a framework I could build on in the future, to do even better next time.

This process looks simple, but it’s saved me much time and heartache. Here goes:
Study: What d…

Three Skills to Arm Your Exegetical Arsenal

(Originally sent out as an article under Eagles' Simply Proclaim)
If there’s one truly fundamental thing that holds a biblical message together, it would be sound exegesis. At the very least, we must do our best to ensure that we’re drawing the right messages from the Scriptures—which is harder than it seems!

As I grow and gain more experience in biblical interpretation, I have found that there are verses in the Scriptures that I have not been interpreting correctly. I've tried my utmost to improve that, and here are the three key skills I've needed to build up: Mental Time Travel

We're not talking Back to the Future, but historical empathy. The Bible contains God's eternal Word, but it was written for a particular audience in a particular time. Imagine scholars thousands of years in the future studying a modern political cartoon or newspaper column—they will have to know the mindset and culture of our time before they can accurately decide what it means.

That's the…

New Move Ahead

Some of my readers may remember that I posted in September 2014 on my big move out of MOH. That , on reflection, was one of the biggest decisions I made in my life back then, to give up my good paying job in MOH and to move to Eagles Communications to work on marketplace ministry. Things went in other directions back then and since I have since not been posting about updates of my life, I think this is a good moment to do it.

1. God has other plans for me, it seems

It was entering into Eagles and leaving MOH that I was beginning to gain a better clarity of the ministry that God has in store for me. At that time, I was still leading a young adult lifegroup and was struggling to transit into my new roles. There were certainly some struggles, one of which is the objection from my then future father-in-law. The other was the new schedule that I had to adjust to after moving over to Eagles. Having been attending the Saturday adult service of my church, I found myself unable to attend servic…

How to Preach the Good News at Your Wedding

You know the drill for wedding ceremonies—a march-in, a ceremony and a big catered reception. At my own wedding a month ago, I didn’t want it to be just another ceremony, or just one of the dozens of weddings that my guests attend that year. I wanted them to leave with something more than just full bellies.

Then I realized that Holy Matrimony is a time when our guests share our joy, and when they will be especially receptive to the gospel message—is it not the core of our new life together? Are we not counselled to preach in and out of season?

In this post, I’ll share five opportunities during the ceremony where the gospel can be proclaimed—in a powerful yet socially acceptable way.
The Intro Video

Many couples choose to begin with a photo montage that chronicles their life journey. Instead, I did an interview video where my wife and I shared how God was central to our love story.

We chose not to focus on ourselves, but on what God did and what He taught us about living with each other. Th…

Kata Romaious: A Reflection

Recently, I was taking a course on Romans. Together with the book study on Romans that I have to attend for Eagles Rendezvous and a similar book study that I co-teached in church, this is the third time that I am learning about the truths in the book of Romans. There are at least four learning points that I have gleaned over the past few months:

1. The Love of God in Our Lives

Perhaps one of the most poignant messages that Romans can offer us is the grace that God so willingly bestowed to us even though we are not deserving of it. Romans 5:6-8 sums it up well, that God demonstrated His love to us through Christ while we were still sinners. This, to me, is the ultimate evidence of God's love in our lives. Many times, we question the love of God when we are going through downtimes. I experienced this just during the course, as I began to think of my own future career in my current workplace and my own future family planning. I had a few setbacks (which I will share in future post) bu…

There is a need

I have been silent over the past four months. That is because I have been trying to adjust to marriage life and coping with all the ministry changes that are happening at the moment.

However, I do feel that my writing career in the blogger sphere is not done yet. I am hoping to rework on this blog on wordpress through a hosting site but that is going to take some time. In the meanwhile, I will continue to write on this blog.