nana nana booboo

That One Time I Accidentally Said, “Kiss My A**” Three Times During the Gospel Lesson

I plead ignorance on this one. But the situation still brings up legitimate questions of communication, cultural norms, and offense as a preaching technique that Jesus seemed to use, but maybe we shouldn’t … OK; here’s the situation. I’m preaching on Luke 14, the Parable of the Banquet where the rich guests who were invited […]

Seven Tools

The 7 Tools for Development in Action

By Justin Rossow When we preach, we make decision about how we are going to spend our time in the pulpit. Consciously or not, we choose how we are going to help the hearer create meaning out of the sermon. If you would like to be more intentional about how you shape the “moments of meditation” […]

Preaching of Jesus

How Speaking of Jesus Changed My Preaching

Speaking of Jesus: The Art of NOT Evangelism isn’t intended to be a book on preaching. It’s a book about the primary ways we interact with people who don’t know Jesus. So it’s a book about evangelism, or, as the subtitle suggests, a book about NOT doing evangelism the way we used to. As I read […]

out of the box

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box

Reader’s Guide Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box, The Arbinger Institute (2010) WHAT IT’S ABOUT Leadership and Self-Deception is about getting out of the box. The box, in this case, is our own patterns of making ourselves seem good in our own eyes, pretty much at the expense of everyone else around us. The basic premise […]

Banners all worship

Biblical Images for Worship

These images connect the elements of worship with the story of Scripture. As we place God’s name on God’s people in the Invocation, we are taken back to the burning bush, the dedication of Solomon’s temple, the Wilderness Wandering, and our own baptism. From the images related to Confession and Absolution, to the song of […]

Biblical Studies

Source and Target, Target, Target Domains

Source and Target, Target, Target Domains

If you know even the basics of contemporary metaphor theory, then you know that in the metaphor “Richard is a gorilla,” what we know (or think we know) about gorillas is the “Source domain.” The metaphor works by taking what we know and expect and how we reason about gorillas and mapping those inferences and […]

Cultural Studies

Fostering Hearing God’s Word Together, Online

Fostering Hearing God’s Word Together, Online

By Justin Rossow Part of any preaching ministry is fostering hearing ears and receptive lives. Scripture invites us to ruminate on God’s Word, to steep our hearts, minds, and daily lives in His promises. In today’s Social Media culture, preachers have unprecedented tools for supporting the mutual conversation of the saints in the weekly lives […]

Example Sermons

You ARE His Witnesses

You ARE His Witnesses

I had a chance to sit down with a preacher after I listened to his sermon. I find the conversation about preaching can be fascinating, and really helpful for those who face the art, craft, and challenge of preaching on a regular basis. The text for the sermon came from the assigned readings for Ascension, […]

Hom Helps

Avoiding The Lutheran Meat Grinder

Avoiding The Lutheran Meat Grinder

By Justin Rossow The proper division of Law and Gospel is one of the essential elements of Lutheran theology, and therefore of Lutheran preaching. But when good theology gets turned into rote practice, the result can be hazardous to your spiritual health. You can get a handle on the definitions of Law and Gospel relatively […]

Image and Metaphor

Focus on the New Creation

Focus on the New Creation

The family has gathered. We ride the ups and down of sudden changes in breathing or consciousness. We share stories and pictures. We are waiting for Dad, my father-in-law Jim, to die. As I look out the back door to the lake, I am struck by the beauty of these summer days. The sun shines. […]


Outreach and Journey

Outreach and Journey

 Conceptual Metaphor in Speaking of Jesus, Part 3 Speaking of Jesus intends to move Christians beyond thinking of non-Christians as “the enemy” and of salvation as “crossing a boundary line;” instead, Medearis wants people not only to speak of, but also to follow Jesus. This view of the Christian faith—faith as following Jesus—inherently embodies a […]


Relationship Triad: Session 7

Speaking the Truth in Love: How to Be an Assertive Christian, Ruth Koch and Kenneth Haugk Session 7 Before You Meet I. Meditate 3-5 times on Hebrews 12:1-14  this week. Start with prayer for yourself and for others reading the same verse, that the same Spirit that inspired these words would open your heart and mind to them […]