Introducing Equipped to Preach the Word
Equipped to Preach the Word is a new resource we’ve put together as a series of videos and accompanying manuals to put resources into the hands of those who long, under God, to train up a new generation of faithful and effective Bible preachers.
Topics include: the nature and necessity of revelation, interpretation and application; apostolic priorities and practice; contemporary challenges in the culture and the church; careful reading and thoughtful analysis of Scripture; watching your life and doctrine; the Word of Christ dwelling in us richly.
This course helps you to train others to acquire and develop the necessary practical tools and skills to expound the Bible’s message. This includes both the preparation of the text and the presentation of the preaching, so as to connect that message to our contemporary cultures. The course seeks also to motivate the preacher to progress and perseverance, through spiritual encouragement, not only to be a skilled workman, but also to be maturing as a humble servant, whom God can use.
The combination of video teaching and downloadable materials for further discussion and practice exercises make this a flexible resource for training groups.
There is a worldwide need for the Word of God to be proclaimed and for Christians to be more deeply rooted in its truth. That is the heartbeat of Equipped to Preach the Word.
You can watch the trailer below or see here for more details (scroll down a bit for the manuals and introduction for leaders)
Developing application in Isaiah
People have been asking me on this conference [Autumn Ministers Conference] about application in Isaiah now that Christ has come.
- Make applications about God first. The Bible is God's book, not ours and any lessons about God are always true of an unchanging God. Start here.
- There is a dotted line between the Old Testament covenant community and the New Testament covenant community. The line is dotted because the covenant is there; but there is discontinuity too because there is a quality change when the Spirit comes and indwells the believer. It is life in the Spirit (clearly outlined in the New Testament) which governs life under the better way of Jesus.
Commentaries on Isaiah
When I first started out preaching and teaching Isaiah, there were very few good commentaries on Isaiah. In the last fifteen years or so there have been some excellent new additions:
- Alec Motyer's long commentary is very detailed and requires hard work but is thorough and rewarding.
- Alec's shorter Tyndale commentary is much more accessible and also very helpful.
- Since I started work on Isaiah, I have come across John Oswalt's two volume commentary on Isaiah (NICOT). It's good and accessible given its depth.
- Not surprisingly, he has also produced a more condensed version in the NIV Application Commentary series. His volume is an excellent contribution to this series.
- For groups and study guide Barry Webb's BST commentary is also very worthwhile.
[Editor's note – we would also include, of course, David's new volume Teaching Isaiah.]
Invitation to a Practical Ministry Seminar
We’re just planning our 2011 Practical Ministry Seminars. These innovative and intimate gatherings are held at The Oasts conference centre in Sussex and are a great way to stay fresh in ministry, particularly focusing on sharpening preaching skills and addressing and praying through pastoral issues. We have spaces for up to 10 men on each conference (21-24 Feb; 23-26 May; 17-20 Oct 2011). Because of the size, the seminars are also a great way to develop and deepen relationships with others in ministry.
So, here’s an idea. Why not use one of the Seminars to invite your local preaching group or fraternal? Come away together with us and get to know one another better so that you can be an effective encouragement to one another where you serve. Alternatively, you could invite a group of contemporaries with whom you don’t want to lose contact. We always have to work hard at building and keeping relationships going – and the setting of The Oasts matched with the Seminar content will be a great help in this task.
Get in contact with Rachel Brabner if you’re interested and we can help you think through how to invite friends and make the most of the opportunity. In the meantime, here’s a review from Tim Silk, who attended his first Practical Ministry Seminar last year:
What was helpful for me was the way the various ingredients were experienced together. It was great fun! The food was amazing! The people were almost normal! The focus was a robust declaration of Isaiah’s message in a broken world; and there was time to pray together. The conversation flowed between the Bible, our lives, and the different missional contexts in which we found ourselves. This was further facilitated by the evenings where we were taught from the Bible about the nature of following Jesus today.
This led on naturally to the consideration of various challenges we all faced. It was particularly helpful to be part of a group of leaders at a similar stage as it allowed us to help each other back to the heart of gospel ministry. It was a great investment of time and resources, because it allowed each of the encouraging ingredients to be experienced simultaneously, and allowed time to consider the issues. Whilst the planned input was really very helpful personally, it was the unplanned time available to talk through ministry challenges with others who had been there before that made it for me.