Productive Pastor Preaching Playlist

Productive Pastor Preaching Playlist

It’s the Productive Pastor Preaching Playlist (say that 4 times quickly)!

Before everyone begins traveling for the holiday season I wanted to put together episodes of similar content in an easy style for you to listen while traveling and to condense topics together. Here are all of the Productive Pastor episodes on preaching.

Preaching Playlist

Episode 17: Why You Need A Production Calendar

There are three reasons production calendars can help you in your minstry.

  1. They help you see the big picture.
  2. The content is right in front of you.
  3. You and your ministry are consistently and steadily moving forward.

Episode 20: 5 Keys To Effective Sermon Preparation

  1. Read.
  2. Have a holding tank.
  3. Have a preaching calendar
  4. Ask others
  5. Find/Build and stick to a preparation rhythm

Episode 21: Sermonsmith and John Chandler

John runs a fantastic podcast called SermonSmith. He sits down and shares what he has learned interviewing dozens of pastors about their preparation process.

Episode 38: Using Monday Moments For Better Preaching

Monday Moments help us develop many different parts of our sermons. They affect the visuals, how we plan our messages and how we preach. They give us a guiding center (alongside our guiding text for the day). They help us develop repetition and focus in how we preach. They give people a literal phrase to repeat as they contemplate the message.Using a Monday Moment is a key preparation AND presentation device. It will help you plan and communicate better. The moment will help the people in your pews better internalize the message and remember it throughout the week.

Episode 39: John Jay Alvaro and a Visual Homiletic

We talk about the visual process of sermon delivery John Jay practices and how he found his way to it. We talk about what it means for a congregation to give their pastor the space to find new ways to communicate. Ultimately, this isn’t about a delivery tactic, but instead a process of public creativity and holy presentation.

Episode 40: Creating A Sermon Preparation Calendar

Many times I hear from people about their desire to have more time to plan and prepare ahead in regards to preaching. This episode I want to share with you a way you can create a whole year vision for preaching, stay on top of things AND still have time for the rest of ministry.

Remember, the things we feel we don’t have time for are often the things we don’t have the time to NOT do.

PP 38: Using Monday Moments for Better Preaching

PP 38: Using Monday Moments for Better Preaching

Welcome to the 38th episode of the Productive Pastor. It’s a great, jam-packed time!

This week I am sharing part of my “Sermons That Have Reach” content. If you have using my sermon planning worksheet or have listened to the podcast for very long, you have heard me talk about a “Big Idea” or a similar concept. The Monday Moment takes this strategy and amplifies it.

Front End
1. The Art of the Sermon
It was a privilege to be part of this great new podcast and to be one of the guests on it’s launch episodes. Dan is developing some great content. Productive Pastor listener, Rev. Brian Johnson, shares a great video on using NOZBE. Check it out here.

2.Threshing Floor Episode 50. I host this podcast with two of my best friends. We are hitting our 50th episode next week-it will be featuring JD Walt, sower-in-chief of Seedbed.

3. Productive Pastor InsiderEvernote, Death and Text-Messaging.

Using Monday Moments for Better Preaching

Monday Moments help us develop many different parts of our sermons. They affect the visuals, how we plan our messages and how we preach. They give us a guiding center (alongside our guiding text for the day). They help us develop repetition and focus in how we preach. They give people a literal phrase to repeat as they contemplate the message.Using a Monday Moment is a key preparation AND presentation device. It will help you plan and communicate better. The moment will help the people in your pews better internalize the message and remember it throughout the week.

The Preparation Pyramid 

Think of this as a pyramid, with 4 floors.

Basement: Larger Biblical Truth
1st Floor: How Does Scripture Emphasis This?
2nd Floor: What Is The Intended Response?
Attic: How Do I Best Articulate This IN Communication?

typorama (1)












I hope this introduction to Monday Moments will help you gain clarity over your preparation and communication. It is such an amazing tool.

Resources Mentioned:
Communicating For A Change: Andy Stanley

The Rocket Company Preaching Rocket

How To Write A Killer Bottom Line: Carey Nieuwhof

Sermons That Have Reach Early Bird List


3 Resources to Add Spark to Your Sermons

3 Resources to Add Spark to Your Sermons


Does preaching every get dull to you? Better yet, do you feel your sermons are making folks a little too comfortable in the pews? Here are 3 of my top posts on preaching to help you remix things up a little. Each one of them is a little different, from the practical to the unorthodox (with a little non-traditional preaching environment mixed in). The biggest tip I have found to keep your sermons running great is to always be working on making them better!

3 Resources to Add Spark to Your Sermons

serial podcast

3 Things the Church can learn from the Serial Podcast.
Did you get sucked into Serial last year? We certainly did. One of the best things about Serial is how it showed a dramatic amount of social change-and this is good for preachers and anyone else who is a narrative communicator.

These 3 things make us ask these two questions:
1. How can my church create or adapt a content strategy influenced by power watching/listening and the consumption of narrative media.
2. Do we speak the communication language of Generation X and the Millennials or are we still directing our digital media towards the style of engagement created by older generations.


Productive Pastor 20: 5 Keys to Effective Sermon Preparation
How do you prepare a sermon well? There are plenty of ways. These are the five tips I like to give people.
1. Read
2. Have a Holding Tank
3. Have a Preaching Calendar
4. Ask Others
5. Find/Build a Preparation Rhythm.


Teaching a Retreat? Here’s How I Plan
Have you ever taught for a retreat? Or maybe preached a quick succession of sermons?

Prepping for these type events can be stressful or it can be really cool. Let me clue you in on a few tips and ideas. Many of these will also work for planning an entire season of preaching…although since folks are hearing them several days apart you won’t get the level of familiarity.

Hacking Facebook Lists for Ministry Effectiveness

Hacking Facebook Lists for Ministry Effectiveness

I have been using Facebook for ministry since 2005. I was a ministry intern at LaTech Wesley. At that point in time only .edu email accounts could get a Facebook profile. Half of the interns had it and the other half hadn’t signed up when they were in college. Those of us who used Facebook for ministry had a much easier time connecting with students and discipling them.

Things haven’t changed.

I want to share a little hack built inside Facebook that will seriously help you.

Do you know about lists in Facebook?

Facebook organizes your friends into lists based off of area, schools, jobs, etc. The built in lists are great-but you can totally take it one step further. (here is Facebook’s list FAQ for those of you unfamiliar)

Creating and organizing your own lists can really help you put groups of similar people together. Lists are private (unlike twitter) and can only be seen by you.

Using Facebook lists for ministry is a killer time saver. One of the best reasons to use Facebook for ministry is to be able to keep up with folks. The only issue is Facebook as an algorithm they use to show you others posts in the news feed. No one really knows exactly how this works, but we know they try to intelligently keep people you regularly interact with in the news feed as well as throw curve balls in as well to see if you will interact with that person.

I have over 2000+ “friends” on Facebook, so this means I am only able to see around 10% of them in my newsfeed regularly.

Lists allow you to select different groups in the newsfeed. I can select the “Monroe, La” group Facebook automatically makes to see what my friends in Monroe are doing.  I can view just their posts or I can send a status update directly to them.

Hacking your Facebook lists and take them to the next level

The basic Facebook created lists are great.  They can be serious help for ministry.

But I encourage you to create your own lists. Besides creating a list for your church, think of the places you spend time and minister to folks?

Are you friending them on Facebook? You should be. Facebook is such a low level of relationship for the average person it won’t be weird. If you have interacted with them enough to get a first and last name, add them on Facebook. Then you need to add them to a list.

I have lists for people I meet at different meetings, the coffee shop I hang out at, the cigar store I hang out in and at just about every place I interact with people. I probably have around 15+ lists I have built with people around my community in them. It makes it really easy to keep up with people.

I am able to see JUST their posts when I want to and interact JUST with them. I can share updates specifically designed for those people. It makes connecting much easier and lets all of us get to know each other better.

Lists are a great hack for Facebook. I encourage you to begin building a few of them and start utilizing them in ministry.

Do you want to create valuable change? Use better assumptions.

Do you want to create valuable change? Use better assumptions.

People don’t like assumptions. We’ve all heard the joke. It goes something like this.

“You know what happens when you assume…you make and ass out of you and me.”

I have to admit, I probably laughed the first time I heard this.

But I assume things. We all assume things. We walk into situations with our own experience, knowledge and beliefs.

The Power of Assumptions

I want to share with you two assumptions I carry with me everywhere. Whenever I step into any leadership position, whether it is permanent or just a conversation with someone, I assume two things. I call them my “guiding principles”.

1. The best indicator of a future reality is past and current behavior.
2. You or your organization is designed to get exactly the results you are getting.

Before you begin thinking Chad has descended into corporate leadership mumbo jumbo, let me tell you why these two statements are so important to me.

I am a Wesleyan, and more specifically a United Methodist pastor. I come from a faith tradition that lives in the tension of the dramatic power and influence of grace over each persons life and a sense of personal responsibility once grace is encountered. Organizationally, it could be said John Wesley’s (the founder of the Methodist movement) entire revival hinged upon careful examination and a theological commitment to organizational clarity and purpose. It even applied down to individual persons, with the Wesleyan discipleship system (arguably the most influential by-product of the movement) focusing almost entirely upon person examination and purpose.

If you are a person that believes life is divinely called and directed by God, and I am, we need to always be focusing on how clear we are following God’s vision and purpose is our areas of influence.

So let me unpack why these two statements matter to me.

1. The best indicator of a future reality is past and current behavior.
Have you ever stepped into a situation where you know things need to change? It might have been personally or as part of a church or other organization. You need new outcomes in life. This change can be many different things, from personal development or shifting the entire culture of a group of people.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard stories of folks realizing things aren’t the best, and are hoping for a different future, but are unwilling to deal with the present and the past. If situations haven’t been perfect…the chance is they won’t be that much different in the future.

The only way to dramatically change the future is to dramatically change the present.

2. You or your organization is designed to get exactly the results you are getting.
This is the second questions. It usually makes the most sense when people are debating the merits of their current practices. It is never hard to get folks to realize there are problems…what is hard is getting them to own up to how they are responsible for the problems.

Call it blame shifting, lack of awareness or education if you want.

We simply have to take personal responsibility for whatever our current outcomes are. If things are flourishing…something is going on right. If we feel we are our of the rhythm of ministry (or just life personally), out of the presence and power of God…we need to change things.

Sadly, I have talked with to many church leaders who acquiesce to the problems and simply think greater faith and prayer is going to flip around the ministries they are part of. Yes-faith and prayer should be the cornerstone towards what Jesus calls us to do, but we have to join that with responsibility and vision. We have to be willing to own exactly what is going on and to never stop.

One of the the marks of the presence of God is forward motion. Jesus moving us closer towards making each place we live in a better example of what life looks like with Him in control. Closer towards justice and peace. Closer towards people making Jesus decisions and not self decisions.

So think about those two assumptions. I have found a discussion centered around the two statements is an amazing jumpstart towards following the mission of Jesus closer and aligning our own personal and church decisions with what Jesus is calling each of us to do.

Avoid worship catastrophe with the Jurassic Park principle

Avoid worship catastrophe with the Jurassic Park principle

As a geeky kid growing up in the early 90’s, nothing hit my radar quite like Jurassic Park. (well…maybe Wayne’s World). I remember when the cool guy who helped me earn my Science merit page in Boy Scouts took me to the opening night of the movie. I had already read my paper back copy of the book several times and was excited about seeing the story brought to the big screen. Jurassic Park was a movie that EVERYONE saw.

I think there is an important lesson church leaders can learn from Jurassic Park when planning worship. I would even go so far as to say it is a timeless message. It is a lesson both worship leaders and scientists creating large and destructive living beings from fossilized DNA should understand. I call it the Jurassic Park principle.


You never know when things might get out of control.

Maybe your lighting crew can make a holographic depiction of the Death Star and your Youth Pastor can make it into an illustration on the one Sunday they teach at traditional worship…but should you really?

Maybe you really are getting into ancient liturgy and your community has gotten down reciting the Apostles Creed, but jumping straight into the Rite of Constantinople might go over their heads.

You have a great preaching illustration taken from The Age of Ultron, but the last movie most of your congregation saw in the theater was Driving Mrs. Daisy, will it truly work?

For younger ministers, there is a huge temptation to delve off into unknown creative waters when leading our congregations in worship. We might have seen something cool at a conference or around the internet and think it will be the thing that catapults our worship into truly skinny jean worship leader status…but are we willing to experiment at the expense of those we worship with? How far does that truly lead our churches into a deeper and more incarnational aspect of faith?

What might seem really cool to us and a few others could be the theological equivilent of unleashing a pack of velociraptors in the sanctuary. Remember the most important word in Worship Design is context. Sometimes innovative things will match our ministries well. Other times we need to step back and realize something might not be best for our church. This is all part of the process of discernment. Our job as leaders, whether music, logistics or preaching is to present Christ to people and facilitate the worship of the Triune God in the most approachable and accessible way for the people we worship with.

Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.