Book Overviews

Similar to sermon starters, book overviews are helpful in preaching/teaching:

  • Help Me Teach the Bible with Nancy Guthrie – “Nancy Guthrie talks to some of the best Bible teachers and preachers of our day in hopes of equipping … anyone who seeks to open up the Bible and teach—to rightly, effectively, and creatively teach through specific books of the Bible.
  • The Bible Project – Short video summaries of many books of the Bible plus theme videos.
  • The Overview Bible Project – Short summaries of each book of the Bible.
  • Talk Through the Bible – “an easy-to-use handbook that summarizes each book of the Bible with at-a-glance charts, illustrations, and outlines”
  • How to Read the Bible through the Jesus Lens: A Guide to Christ-Focused Reading of Scripture – “connects each of the sixty-six books of the Bible to the person and work of Jesus Christ. By explaining each book’s theme and raising pertinent questions about the contemporary importance of that message, author Michael Williams sets readers on a path toward purposeful, independent reading and application of the entire Bible.”
  • Clarifying the Bible – I’ve heard good things about this video overview of the Bible.

Sermon Starters

In addition to prayerful working with a text and reading helpful commentaries, sometimes short expositions of a text – with an aim toward preaching or teaching it – are helpful just to get an angle or idea for communicating a text.

Thus, here are a few “sermon starters”:

  • The Text This Week – “This site features a wide variety of resources for study and liturgy based on the 3-year Revised Common Lectionary cycle.”
  • Sermon Starters – Short commentary on the lectionary reading
  • 5 Minutes of Bible Exposition – Audio podcast
  • Working Preacher – “[H]ere to inspire better preaching by offering timely, compelling, and trustworthy content for working preachers”
  • Look at the Book with John Piper – “Look at the Book is an online method of teaching the Bible. It’s an ongoing series of 8–12 minute videos in which the camera is on the text, not the teacher. You will hear John Piper’s voice and watch his pen underline, circle, make connections, and scribble notes — all to help you learn to read God’s word for yourself. His goal is to help you not only see what he sees, but where he sees it and how he found it.”

How to encourage your pastor in less than 10 seconds

“There are few more encouraging noises for the preacher than the rustle of Bible pages among the congregation when he announces his text.  He should draw comfort from that, more than from the sounds of approval for what he is saying during the sermon.

A faithful congregation will draw faithful preaching out of their pastor.  Conversely, it is very hard to persevere as a faithful teacher of the Word of God to a congregation that does not want it taught to them.  To some extent congregations get the preachers they deserve, because preaching is a two-way process: the attitudes of the preacher and congregation must unite in a humble hunger for God’s Word.”

(Mark Ashton in Worship by the Book)

Commentary Resources

Given the plethora of commentaries in English, how is one to evaluate which are worth his or her time?  Here are some resources which might help:

  1. Old Testament Commentary Survey / New Testament Commentary Survey – These books review commentaries to help you decide.  (Here is a review of the NTCS to give you a flavor of what is included.)
  2. – A dynamic site which sorts through a wide variety of commentaries.
  3. Two commentary resources from Ligonier Ministries: One / Two
  4. Links for expository preaching – Currently on NT, but many good resources!

Preaching Through Judges

We just completed our series through the book of Judges.  Although biased, I enjoyed both retelling the accounts and framing each account within the overarching narrative of the Bible (read: Biblical Theology).

Here are few helpful resources:



YouPick Sermon Series Starts Tomorrow

Tomorrow we start our YouPick sermon series.  From mid-December 2008 to mid-January 2009 all were invited to submit and rate questions on our website.  The top four questions would then form the basis for the four sermons in February 2009.

This concept is not original.  🙂

Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill did something similar one year ago:

So did Southeast Christian Church [swag here]. 

Special thanks to Fivestar module for helping make this happen!

You can follow along here.