Dick Lucas’s 4 Charges for Today’s Preachers

One of Leadership Resources’ preaching heroes and main influences is the Rev. Dick Lucas, former minister of St. Helens of Bishopsgate and founder of The Proclamation Trust.

At 90, Dick has recently stepped down from his work as a Proclamation Trust trustee (amazingly, he still continues to preach!).

Here are four charges for today’s preachers Lucas shared (as summarized by Adrian Reynolds):

A – Authority. The Word of God is the power of God to create life and if we allow any kind of tradition (and there are many) to take over, then the Word of God is soon robbed of its power.

B – Boldness. Satan hates free speech and the bold proclamation of the gospel of Christ. Anything which hinders this – inside and outside the church – comes from the pit.

C – Conviction. Pastors and preachers need to tremble at the Word of God which comes from the mouth of God. Our conviction needs to extend to all the Scriptures – look how our singing is one dimensional for example, compared to the psalter.

D – Delight. Dick quoted Lloyd-Jones who, when travelling around, noted that many churches are so depressing! We need to be preachers who delight in Christ Himself and in His Word. That must be evident in our preaching.


Related Links:

Showing Vulnerability from the Pulpit (The Distracted Worshipper #2)

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Part Two of Series: The Distracted Worshipper: A View from the Pews


A co-worker and I were holed up in a hotel room with 7 Asian pastors who live in a restricted-access country that is hostile to Christ and His Church. They’d arrive one-by-one in the morning and stay through until the evening. Then they’d leave one-by-one, a few minutes apart.

Together, we were looking at 1 & 2 Corinthians and noting the surprising vulnerability that Paul showed to this church that was challenging his authority and integrity.

“For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death.” (2 Cor. 1:8-9)

Not exactly a confidence-boosting message! But in fact, Paul repeatedly emphasizes in these letters his weaknesses and discouragements in the ministry.

I asked the pastors if they preach with vulnerability. “Never”. Why not? Two reasons…

  1. People would be discouraged in their faith if they learn that their pastor is having so many problems. They’ll think, “If he can’t live the Christian life, what hope do we have?”
  2. It’s not really appropriate to wash dirty laundry in public.

I told them about the two men that have shepherded me for the past 35 years. Both Bill Johnson and Pat Peglow have preached with great vulnerability. Their honest humility has been transformative. Instead of discouraging us, they gave us hope! “If God can use these very ordinary men, then there’s hope for us!”

Vulnerable preaching is powerful preaching.

We looked further at 2 Corinthians 12 in which Paul actually boasts of his weaknesses, “so the power of Christ may rest upon me…for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (v.9-10)

After a long discussion, I asked how they were processing this idea of vulnerability. After a long pause, their leader looked at the other men and simply said, “If God’s Word says it, then we need to do it.”

Some questions to consider…

  • How vulnerable is your preaching?
  • What’s the upside and the downside of vulnerable preaching?
  • What are some next steps that you might take?

A Simple and Effective Way to Follow Up with Visitors to Your Church (Part Six)

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This post concludes our series on implementing The Trellis and the Vine in our churches and deals with effective follow up for churches. Here are the other posts:


Download Audio | Listen to Full Interview


Marty Sweeney: When I read a good book on preaching, the first thing I’m curious about is the guy who wrote the book. I want to listen to one of his sermons. And so, if someone reads a book on ministry, and the person thinks, “What does an everyday guy like Tony Payne going to your church in Australia?” What do you see in your own church that is going well in terms of the trellis and vine mindset?

Tony Payne: As Col and I always say, we are just two very ordinary guys trying to figure it out just like everybody else.

One of the things I noticed a couple of years ago in our church is that the way of following up newcomers who come to church in our context wasn’t very good, it was fairly programmatic. If a newcomer came to church, they would just get an email, get a welcome, they might get a phone call. They’d be invited to various things, but nothing happened with them personally in terms of actual following them through, getting to know them, seeing how each one of those people needed to move to the right.

I wondered if it was possible to do something better for this. We didn’t have the pastoral resources. So, I got together a group of ten people, mature Christians who had been in the church for a while and weren’t really in the mindset of helping others particularly, they were just solid Christians. They wanted to help other people, but weren’t sure how.

So I decided to train that group to be a newcomer follow-up team, who together, would grasp the vision of seeing newcomers move to the right and start to follow those people up. I’ve been working on that for two and a half years, my wife and I run this group, and in God’s providence, it’s been really helpful for our congregation. We now have 8 or 10 people who really know how to visit a new person, think about who they are, keep in touch with them over three, four, five, six months, introduce them to other people, try and work out what their spiritual needs are, maybe read the Bible with them if that’s what they need. We’ve seen real growth in those people’s lives and growth in people staying at church as a result.

It’s a simple thing to do, and it’s taken some persistence. But it is one simple thing that has been good in our congregation over the next couple of years. We’ve seen a much higher level of new people stay and grow and be really helped by the gospel by just following them up personally. That’s a simple thing I think everyone could do.


Related Resource: How to Walk into Church by Tony Payne (Amazon | Matthias Media)

How to Walk into Church by Tony Payne Matthias Media Book Cover

If you’ve been a churchgoer for more than just a few Sundays, walking into church probably doesn’t seem like it deserves its own ‘how to’ manual. Right? In fact, it most likely seems like a pretty straightforward and trivial weekly activity.

But things are rarely as simple as they seem, and how you walk into church reveals a great deal about what you think church is, what it’s for, and what you think you’re doing there.

In How to Walk into Church, Tony Payne helps us think biblically about church. Along with giving plenty of other practical advice, he suggests a way to walk into church that beautifully expresses what church is and why you’re there – a way that every Christian can master.

If you go to church, this Brief Book is for you.


ReGrowth

Want to learn more? Join us for Re:Growth – Implementing “The Trellis and the Vine” in your church in Palos Heights, IL on September 11, 2015.

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