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PreachingToday.com's Top 7 for 2015

A look back at a great year for Preaching Today.
PreachingToday.com's Top 7 for 2015

New Year's is right around the corner, so we are taking this chance to look back at some of the best sermons, articles, and illustrations from this past year. Please join us as we take a walk down memory lane.

Sermons:

Our best sermons this year were thematically based. Either based on hot-topic issues the church had to interact with or with one of Preaching Today's themes/holidays. Because of the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage, Jim Nicodem's piece provided a great idea of how to approach this topic in your context. Seasonal sermons were memorable as well. Dan Meyer's sermon for Halloween and Kevin Harney's message on Thanksgiving Day provided some fodder for sermon ideas.

1. God's Big Story: The Bible on Homosexuality, by Jim Nicodem
How should Christians view homosexuality within the Bible's larger gospel story?

2. The Glory of the Groan, by Robert Smith Jr.
God can bring glory out of our groanings.

3. The Infiltration of 'Jezebel,' by Dan Meyer
Each of us has to decide whom we'll really listen to and serve behind our masks and whom, as a result, we'll be throwing out. Jezebel or Jesus?

4. A Thankful Life, by Kevin Harney
Be the one who notices and thanks God for his blessings.

5. The Blessing, The Curse, The Calling, by John Mark Comer
God wants all of your life to matter.

6. Sacrificing Our Children to the Gods of this World, by Juan Sanchez
Molech worship is alive and well but Christ's grace is greater than our sin.

7. Facing Up to Depression, Mark Meynell
God did not create us to be strong without him, which is why he is interested in our weaknesses.

Skills Articles:

Ken Shigematu's article, "Hitting Your Creative Peak," was one of the best articles of all time for Preaching Today! His tips for creating a longer runway for sermon prep resonated well with our readers, and encouraged them to try out some new sermon prep practices. The introduction article to Preaching Today's summer series, "R-Rated: Preaching Those Unsafe OT Texts," was a great reminder to not skip over some of the more difficult passages in the Bible. (You can find that article in Spanish on our site as well.)

1. Hitting Your Creative Peak, by Ken Shigematsu
5 tips for healthier sermon prep.

2. How'd It Go?, by H.B. Charles
Five ways to measure your Sunday sermon.

3. R-Rated: Preaching Those Unsafe OT Texts, by Joshua Ryan Butler
Don't dismiss the difficult passages of the Old Testament, preach them!

4. The Danger of Preaching Without Jesus, by Pete Scazzero
We need to give Jesus direct access to every aspect of our lives and our leadership.

5. Preaching on Homosexuality, by Jim Nicodem
An Interview with Jim Nicodem.

6. Taking the Pressure Out of Sermon Prep, by Ken Shigematsu
A longer preparation window reduces anxiety, fosters creativity, and makes us more attentive to the Holy Spirit.

7. Why the Pastor Should Have a 'Study,' and Not an 'Office,' by Gerald Hiestand
Live into your role as theological leader of your church.

Illustrations:

If you know anything about Matt Woodley, Preaching Today's editor, you know he loves illustrations. He was happy to see a very broad range of illustrations show up in our Top 7 list. These illustrations are on the topics of love, money, apps, stress, a bus driver, and even engineers. If you missed one of these, be sure to check them out!

1. Author Brené Brown on the Nature of Love

2. Stress About Money Tops Stressor List

3. Italian Phrase that Depicts Biblical Love

4. Engineers Anonymously Help the World

5. T.S. Eliot's Conversion Met with Disgust

6. App Fills Your Calendar So You Can Pretend to Be Busy

7. Bus Driver Conveys Christ's Love

Matt Woodley serves as the Editor for PreachingToday.com and the Pastor of Compassion Ministries at Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Illinois. He is also the author of God With Us: The Gospel of Matthew (IVP).

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