The Preaching Notes Series

These are really interesting:

Mark Dever
Mike Bullmore
C.J. Mahaney
Ray Ortlund, Jr.
Tim Keller
Mark Driscoll

They are copies of the preaching notes from well known pastors. You have to look at Mark Driscoll’s… He preached for an hour. Here were Joshua Harris’ comments.

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When I originally asked Mark to participate by sharing his preaching notes he declined. So I asked him again. He sent the following email explaining his initial reluctance as well as his unique approach to notes. Mark writes,

Josh, I have hesitated to send you my preaching notes because…they’re usually aren’t any. When I do a topical sermon there are some. But, when I’m working through a text of the Bible I pretty much scratch a few words on a sticky tab and maybe in pencil put a few words in the margin and get up and go for an hour-ish. Most of the jokes, cross references, illustrations etc. are made up on the spot while preaching. In that way I’m pretty Spirit lead. I study a ton going in to fill up, and then get up and preach it out. This is a copy of my Bible from my latest sermon on the first half of Jesus High Priestly Prayer in John 17. I used about half the stuff on the sticky notes and preached for about an hour. I would not commend anyone to preach this way as it’s the pastoral equivalent to driving blindfolded—exciting but dangerous. So, for what it’s worth here it is.

I agree with Mark’s encouragement not to follow his example in this regard. And that’s not because I don’t believe in the leading of the Holy Spirit. But I think Mark is uniquely gifted and has an ability to absorb and recall great amounts of what he has studied. I for one, don’t have this same ability. I say this only because I don’t want any young preachers to get up to preach with two sticky notes either having not studied and prepared enough or, lacking Mark’s ability to remember what they studied, to fall on their face and then blame the Holy Spirit. Repeat after me, “I am not Mark Driscoll.”

Here’s a PDF of two pages of Mark’s Bible and the accompanying sticky notes. And here’s the audio recording of the sermon he preached from them.

Mark Dever on Alleviating Poverty

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while. This post is worth a read.

I found this sentence interesting:

The fact is, if we lead Christians to believe that they may preach the gospel just as much by alleviating poverty as by evangelism, many of them will choose the former because the world recognizes and values that kind of service, while it rejects and scorns the work of evangelism. In time, such a “public” gospel will inevitably lose its supernaturally awkward corners; it will be smoothed out and made acceptable to sinners all around.

Mark Dever in the Nine Marks Report Card

Pages 1 and 2 of the report card. Click to enlarge.

I want you to try a thought exercise. Suppose a business school class on non-profit organizations assigns its students the task of building a successful church. And Assume all the students are non-Christians. Could they succeed?

Sure they could! With the right poll-tested methods, just about anyone can draw a crowd. If ambiance sells coffee, why not use it to sell Jesus? If music sells clothing, why not use it to market the church? The church might even with a “Most Innovative!” award.

Yet think about this: what does it say about God if we need to market his glory and gospel with the same tools we use to sell toothpaste and laundry detergent? Is he really that desperate?

God is so much more glorious. He has declared a mighty gospel and then backed up his words by changing a group of people. There’s the church’s appeal: The wisdom of God. The might of God. The love of God. On display in the lives of a changed people for all the world to see!

Is you church is relying on natural appeal or supernatural? Whose glory does it display?

– Mark Dever