4 Principles for Using Pop Culture to Connect People to Jesus
4 Principles for Using Pop Culture to Connect People to Jesus

When your church meets in a movie theater, you understand what it is to do ministry right in the middle of the marketplace. For four years, our church plant met in two different movie theaters, each surrounded by shopping districts and restaurants. And sometimes, it got a little weird. A few times, we had to…

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5 Ways to Flavor Your Messages Before Preaching
5 Ways to Flavor Your Messages Before Preaching

Every pastor knows that preaching the Word regularly demands a lot of time spent in research and development. We collect and categorize ideas. We dig into our passages. We assemble supporting verses and material. We put it all in outline form. And then, we deliver it! One of the last steps in the preparation process…

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You Get a Half an Hour, and It Might Just Change a Life!
You Get a Half an Hour, and It Might Just Change a Life!

How much is a half an hour of undivided attention worth? The most valuable half hour in our entire society is the half hour people spend on Sunday listening to a sermon. For those few moments, everyone in the room is (mostly) tuned in to hear a life-changing message. We live in a culture saturated with…

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How to Stay Positive AND Preach About Sin
How to Stay Positive AND Preach About Sin

We who preach are called to preach everything. The “whole counsel of God.” And that means talking about human sinfulness and depravity even as we’re preaching about victory and triumph. Remember the passage in the Bible where Moses comes down off the mountain and the people have made a golden calf? God prepared him with the…

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3 Big Reasons Pastors Should Preach on Pop Culture
3 Big Reasons Pastors Should Preach on Pop Culture

Not too long ago, I sent out a survey to my email list and asked pastors if they believe ministers should address pop culture related topics like movies, music, & TV in their messages. Over 1500 pastors responded to the survey. A whopping 74% of them said, “Yes”—ministers can and should talk about culture from…

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5 Resources Smart Pastors Use To Save Time For More Ministry
5 Resources Smart Pastors Use To Save Time For More Ministry

All pastors have more work to do than time to do it. Until Jesus comes back, there will always be more ministry to do. You could always do more… sermon prep outreach phone calls emails hospital visits meetings Bible studies plus a hundred other things. You will always have more work to do than time…

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How to Not Crash a Great Sermon
How to Not Crash a Great Sermon

Not too long ago, I was flying into Guatemala City. It was dark, late, and extremely bumpy because of a terrible storm. I had a window seat, and as I looked out, all I could see was lightning. Lots of it. I wondered, “How often does a plane gets struck by lightning?” At that instant,…

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6 Tips for Writing Magnetic Sermon Titles
6 Tips for Writing Magnetic Sermon Titles

The title is the smallest part of a sermon. It usually doesn’t even get mentioned during the actual sermon. Professional copywriters often refer to the first line of a sales letter as the “eyebrow” because it literally looks like one, all alone at the top. But I believe the value and importance of sermon titles is severely…

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3 Ways to Be a Good Steward of Easter Weekend
3 Ways to Be a Good Steward of Easter Weekend

Preaching the gospel is always, always a holy and sacred event. Within that special hour, the Creator empowers his messenger to boldly speak forth words that raise the spiritually dead to life new. When it comes to Easter Sunday, or Resurrection Sunday as many prefer, there is a sense in which little is actually different from the…

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How to Preach Through Books of the Bible Without Getting Bogged Down
How to Preach Through Books of the Bible Without Getting Bogged Down

One of the great debates in preaching circles is whether to preach topical sermon series’ or expository series’ through books of the Bible. I am sure you have met some people who have passionate opinions regarding one or the other. One camp says that preaching verse-by-verse through a book is tedious and becomes unengaging after…

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5 Ways to Flavor Your Messages Before Preaching
5 Ways to Flavor Your Messages Before Preaching

Every pastor knows that preaching the Word regularly demands a lot of time spent in research and development. We collect and categorize ideas. We dig into our passages. We assemble supporting verses and material. We put it all in outline form. And then, we deliver it! One of the last steps in the preparation process…

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How to Preach Persuasively with Eternity in the Balance
How to Preach Persuasively with Eternity in the Balance

Preaching out to persuade people to move toward God and his purposes. The eternal destiny of the hearer literally hangs in the balance. W. A. Criswell, while speaking at Moody Bible Institute on The Romance of Expository Preaching, defined preaching as “seeking to move a man’s will God-ward.” He went on to say that teaching is instructing…

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Top 10 Most Downloaded Church Resources in 2016
Top 10 Most Downloaded Church Resources in 2016

 10. Corinthians (sermon series) This 10-week series over the book of 1 Corinthians teaches that true unity in the body of Christ only comes when believers commit their lives wholeheartedly to Jesus. 9. Church & Culture (sermon series) As God’s people, we are an integral part of this world. Instead of being scared of culture,…

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Colorblind Man Sees Color for the First Time During Sermon
Colorblind Man Sees Color for the First Time During Sermon

Recently, a Ministry Pass member, Pastor Rob Dickerson of LifeQuest Community Church in Hilton, New York, shared a story with us about a very special service at his church. After I got off of the phone with Pastor Rob, I immediately relayed what he told me to our team—who were simultaneously ecstatic and moved.

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4 Simple Ways To Manage Your Time As You Prepare For Your Sunday Sermon
4 Simple Ways To Manage Your Time As You Prepare For Your Sunday Sermon

Sunday. The day of rest. The Lord’s day… Gameday. At least, that’s how it can feel amidst the hustle and bustle of a dedicated church staff working day-in-and-day-out to bring the Gospel to your congregation. That’s how it feels when you’ve gone over your sermon for the 100th time, wording and re-wording each sentence in…

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Introducing the Ministry Pass Youth Group Game of the Week
Introducing the Ministry Pass Youth Group Game of the Week

When I was a youth pastor, one of my least favorite things to do each week was find a game for service. For a good while, I delegated the task to a youth leader or student. But they had trouble, too. Everyone in our group loved games—for some, it was their favorite part of the…

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Top 20 Most Embarrassing Preaching Stories
Top 20 Most Embarrassing Preaching Stories

If you’ve been in ministry for any length of time, you’ve probably had an embarrassing preaching moment or two. Or seven. I know I have. I was thinking about this the other day, and thought it might be fun to send out an email and ask our list of pastors about their most embarrassing preaching stories….

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How Ministry Pass Launched (Two Years Ago, Today)
How Ministry Pass Launched (Two Years Ago, Today)

Today marks the two year anniversary of Ministry Pass! We wanted to share some of the backstory of how our company started so we filmed an interview with our founder, Justin Trapp.   When we set out to launch it, we wanted to create resources that helped church leaders at churches under 300. Sure, larger…

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Dramatically Improve Your Preaching By Doing This One Thing
Dramatically Improve Your Preaching By Doing This One Thing

The demands on a local pastor are diverse and never ending. Think about the job description! Incredible Leader Powerful Preacher Caring Shepherd Organized Administrator Property Manager The cognitive and leadership skills needed to be a local pastor are taxing to anyone. Rarely do you find a pastor who does just one thing. Multiple hats are…

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Four Steps to a Great Sermon Series
Four Steps to a Great Sermon Series

Editors Note: This is the second blog in a series written by local church leaders for local church leaders. Today’s post comes from Andy McMillan. Andy is a passionate leader, pastor, speaker and coach. He has been in ministry over six years. He has a B.A. in Christian Leadership and a M.A. in Ministerial Leadership. Currently, Andy…

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How to Write a Killer Sermon in Seven Days
How to Write a Killer Sermon in Seven Days

If you’ve been involved in a teaching or preaching ministry for any period of time, you’ve probably had to throw a sermon or lesson together at the last minute. If so, you’ve also realized that, even though God is able to work through our weakness (even weakness of preparation), sermons are far more effective when we…

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Mark Batterson on His Weekly Preaching Schedule
Mark Batterson on His Weekly Preaching Schedule

Welcome to video number six in our six-part series with pastor and New York Times best selling author, Mark Batterson. Missed the previous videos? Check out the links to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. In this video, Mark talks about what his weekly preaching schedule looks like. Do you have a sermon prep schedule? This video…

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Mark Batterson on His Preaching Convictions
Mark Batterson on His Preaching Convictions

Welcome to video number five in our series with pastor and New York Times best selling author, Mark Batterson. Missed the previous videos? Check out the links to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. In this video, Mark drops my favorite line from this entire video series… “If your sermons are boring, it’s probably because your life…

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Mark Batterson on Sermon Series Planning
Mark Batterson on Sermon Series Planning

Welcome to video number four in our series with pastor and New York Times best selling author, Mark Batterson. In this video, Mark talks about some of the strategies he and his team at National Community Church use when planning their sermon series. Missed the previous videos? Check out the links to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3….

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Mark Batterson on the Things to Avoid as a Preacher
Mark Batterson on the Things to Avoid as a Preacher

Welcome to video number three in our series with pastor and New York Times best selling author, Mark Batterson. In this video, Mark talks about some of the things we need to avoid as preachers in order to present the full Gospel. Missed the previous videos? Check out the links to Part 1 and Part 2. Mark Batterson…

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Mark Batterson on the Challenges of Preaching
Mark Batterson on the Challenges of Preaching

Welcome to video number two in our series with pastor and New York Times best selling author, Mark Batterson. Missed the previous video? Check out the link to Part 1. In this video, Mark talks about some of his greatest preaching challenges and how he overcame them. Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in…

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Mark Batterson on His Failed Church Plant (Video)
Mark Batterson on His Failed Church Plant (Video)

I recently heard author Shauna Niequist say on a podcast, “Social media lets everyone project a perfect story even though perfection doesn’t exist.” She went on to say the illusion of perfectionism is seductive for leaders. We like to only play our highlight reel. What I appreciate about Mark Batterson is how he showcases his failures as…

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The Dangers of Living Sermon-to-Sermon
The Dangers of Living Sermon-to-Sermon

How far ahead do you plan your sermons? If you said a few weeks or less, you are in the majority. Based on a recent survey we sent out to ministers, 79% of pastors plan their sermons two weeks or less before preaching them. Did you know there is a powerful parallel affecting a majority of…

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21 Tips & Hacks For Your Sabbatical
21 Tips & Hacks For Your Sabbatical

This past May, I took a month long sabbatical. It was a huge blessing for me and my family. I wrote about some of the biggest benefits a few days ago here. Before I went on my sabbatical, I connected with other leaders who had already been on one to get their tips and advice…

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3 Huge Benefits of Taking a Sabbatical
3 Huge Benefits of Taking a Sabbatical

I just returned from a sabbatical recently, and wanted to share some insights I gained from the experience. I will admit, a sabbatical has been something I daydreamed about, but never believed it would actually happen. Somewhere inside, I thought sabbaticals were only for super successful leaders. But the more I learn about successful leaders, the more…

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New Product: The Ten Commandments Sermon Series
New Product: The Ten Commandments Sermon Series

At Ministry Pass, we like to have a balance between topical sermon series and large passage/biblical book series. This month, we’re extremely excited to release a brand new exegetical series on the Ten Commandments. I love the classic yet fresh look of this hot off the press artwork. Our designers managed to invoke the ancient “Sinai” ascetic, while…

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