Big Changes

We are relocating to North East Florida

2017 will be a very busy summer for our family. I have recently accepted a position as the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Fernandina Beach, FL. The church is situated on Amelia Island and serves families from Jacksonville, FL to the Southern tip of Georgia. I have been extremely impressed at the sincere heart for prayer that the church has demonstrated. The kindness they have shown to our family is remarkable. We will never forget the time we spent at Capshaw and the friends we’ve made throughout our time in North Alabama. Thankfully, through social media we will be able to stay in touch.

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Unique Users by Nation

Early in ministry, relocating was relatively easy. The kids were too young to have a strong opinion, Julie was a stay-at-home mom, and we just didn’t have very much to move. Today we have two teenagers, a nine year old, Julie owns a small business that is growing at amazing speeds, and we are homeowners. It was essential that we identify a place that would uniquely fit each of us, as well as serve the callings on each of our lives.

I’ve received several messages from people asking about how this move will impact the Maximum Life Podcast, YouTube Channel, etc. By God’s grace, our media ministry has become the largest audience that we serve on a daily basis. Around 2,000 unique users download our podcast monthly from all over the world.

 

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Unique Users of the Maximum Life Podcast

Thankfully, First Baptist Church has state of the art A/V capabilities and we should be able to continue unhindered. If you are not already subscribed, make sure to do so from your favorite podcast provider – http://zachterry.libsyn.com/rss

 

COMING SOON – the Maximum Life Podcast will include new, “in-between episodes” that will be in addition to the regular sermons. These episodes will provide commentary, interviews, and truth directed at the issues facing Christian families.

Please be praying for us during this busy season!

 

You Preach Too Much

Repetition of simple truths is your most powerful asset

youdeservelove andyou willget it.Pastor – you preach too much. I do not mean that you preach too many weeks out of the year, or that you preach too long (although, those are probably true as well). You preach too much content – so do I, but I’m trying to do better

Consider the advantage of identifying a few mega thoughts and drawing them out of every text you preach. Imagine the long term impact of repeatedly showing your congregation the same truths over the course of years in new and creative ways each week.

As I near 20 years of preaching I’m beginning to see that the dynamics involved in steering a large group of people are very unique.

Practically every sermon I deliver will expand on one or more of these issues:

  1. God – I want to present a infinitely high view of each person of the Godhead (Father, Son and Spirit).
  2. Man – More and more I am seeing the need of explaining who mankind is, unpacking the implications of the fall, as well as the fact the are image bearers of God. Implications of gender are becoming more important. Clarity in regards to marriage, homosexuality, gender roles is needed more and more.
  3. Gospel
    • Micro Gospel – Show how the text helps us understand the work of Christ and how we should respond by faith.
    • Macro Gospel – That is to show the overarching Meta-Narrative of scripture from creation, the fall, Christ, and culmination (second coming).
  4. Pre-Evangelism – This would include apologetic work that sets the stage for the Gospel. For example, we spent five weeks last year delving into why we believe the bible. This could also include arguments for the existence of God from a philosophical or scientific perspective.
  5. Mission – Stirring the emotions and educating the mind of the congregation to engage them in mission both personally and corporately.
  6. Embodiment – Show how the truth of God’s word and work is fleshed out through our life, career, family, hobbies, etc.
  7. Church – What are the unique implications of the text for the local community of faith?

As I think through the last couple of years of preaching, practically every sermon I’ve preached has sought to move the congregation in a certain direction on each of those issues.

Is there anything you would add to that list? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

EXAMPLES of preaching by Zach Terry may be found on our YouTube channel.

Theology in Ancient Graffiti

The Alexamenos graffito

2016-12-13_21-35-10The Alexamenos graffito is a piece of Roman graffiti scratched in plaster on the wall of a room near the Palatine Hill in Rome from around 200AD. The Greek inscription reads something like “Alexamenos worships [his] God.” While it was meant to demean Alexamenos, it perfectly communicates his theology and how it was received. He worshipped Jesus, as God, who died on the cross. This Gospel was not well received by his friends.

Have you ever considered the fact that some of the things people say about you may be around for 1,000 years. Will it reveal the sincerity of your faith? 

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Black and White Etching

Ironically, in the next chamber adjoining where the Alexamenos graffito found – another etching was discovered which reads –  Alexamenos fidelis, Latin for “Alexamenos is faithful”.

2 Corinthians 2:15–16 (ESV)

15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?

What is Preaching?

Disclaimers: Over the next few weeks I am going to be posting my thoughts about the science and art of preaching. Two things I preachingwant to say up front:

  1. I am not writing this material I think I am personally a great preacher. I think of myself more like a coach. The coach (at times) is the overweight guy on the sidelines yelling at the players, but his perspective and experience can make each player and the team as whole better.
  2. I know that not all of you who follow this blog are Preachers. But, it’s my blog and I can post what want. 🙂

With that said, let’s begin…

What is Preaching?

According to Mounce the most common Greek word translated preach, kēryssō means to proclaim, tell, often urging acceptance of the message, with warnings of consequences for not doing so.

Preaching is different from reading, teaching, or dialoging. We get a hint of this in 2 Timothy 1:10–11, when Paul writes, “[Christ] abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher.”

Notice that there is a difference in those three tasks…

  • As an Apostle Paul was to Record the Truth
  • As a Teacher Paul was to Explain the Truth
  • But as a Preacher – Paul was to Herald or Proclaim the Truth.

Preaching is an authoritative declaration.

John Piper described it this way – Preaching is what a town crier does when there is a message from the king. He gathers a group of people and says, “Here ye, hear ye, be it known to you today that by royal order of his highness, the king, there will henceforth be granted to this town an imperial watch of one hundred soldiers to protect you from the rebel bands who plunder the king’s subjects.”
 And a cheer goes up among the people. (Those are the amen’s of the congregation.)
 And he continues, “Furthermore be it known to you that the cost for this protection shall be born not by taxation but by the beneficence of the king from his royal treasury!” Again cheers! (Amen!) “Moreover, the king would have you know that he loves you, his loyal subjects, and will use all his royal counsel and power to defend you and supply your wants.”
 Again cheers. (Amen! Amen!) “And lastly he sends through me his royal blessing. Blessed be the people whose trust is in the king!” Cheers. (Amen!)

Preaching is more than teaching – it is, heralding a message. Preaching is one man standing and speaking with authority to others. Preaching is calling people to account. A.W. Tozer said, “We come not as diplomats but as prophets and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.”

Preaching, however,  in and of itself is arrogant and meaningless unless it is saturated with truth. That is why the Apostle Paul urged his young protege in the faith to “preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2). Thus, the content of the sermon is vastly more important than any aspect of it’s delivery.

So in this series of posts I am referring to preaching in this sense – a man compelled by the Holy Spirit to deliver a message that accurately and authoritatively explains the truth of God’s eternal word.