Maxims for Maximum Impact: ‘Maxims of Conversation’ and Preaching

“In theory, preaching is easy. Just get two things right: truth and clarity. But, as with many things, the practice is harder. …

I recently came across ‘Grice’s Maxims of Conversation’. Paul Grice (1913-1988) was a British philosopher of language, best known for his ‘co-operative principles’. Simply stated, these insist that people should communicate in a co-operative, helpful way. While Grice was applying them to everyday conversation, his maxims apply to any speech act – including preaching. …

As I work through my sermon and, again, when I’ve finished, I continue to ask myself important questions. Grice’s four maxims would be four good questions for us preachers to ask ourselves:”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Mike Raiter has some real help for preachers.

(Image: GAFCON.)

Friendship: The Foundation of Paul’s Global Ministry

“One of Paul’s most consistent values may surprise us: friendship. Paul valued friendship with fellow Christians. He worked to establish and maintain friendships.

Consider how often Paul says something like: ‘I thank my God always when I remember you, because I hear of your love for all the saints’ (Gal. 1:15, Col. 1:4, 2 Thess. 1:3, Philemon 4).

Consider how in nearly every letter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, he devotes space to greeting specific believers, who are by now long dead. In what sense are those names useful to the man of faith today, if not to teach us the importance of Christian friendships?…”

– Here’s encouragement from Caleb Greggsen, writing at 9Marks.

Sunday morning encouragement

The Lord is King – by Colin Buchanan.

Fuel for Prayer from the North West — November 2021

The North West Network for November 2021 is now available from the Diocese of North West Australia.

Bishop Gary Nelson writes,

“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said,
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” [Acts 16:30f ESV]

As Paul and Silas preach the good news of Jesus Christ in the Greek city of Philippi, lives are changed, and a church is established. As a result, a gospel partnership [fellowship] springs into life. So, Paul writes,

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. [Philippians 1.3-6 ESV]

Now this gospel partnership between the Christians in Philippi and the apostle Paul, continues to grow. And it is a fellowship expressed in prayer, kindness, and financial support [see Phil 4.14-20].

When Paul writes to ‘the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi’ he seeks to encourage them in their gospel partnership. In 1.27 the Philippian Christians are urged to let their,

… manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel…

Friends, our fellowship as a diocese is grounded in the gospel. For the gospel is at the heart of those who come to serve; it’s the motivation for financial and prayer support; and it’s the hope people long for, and find proclaimed clearly, in our churches. That’s why we are so thankful to God for all who stand firm with us, striving side by side, for a gospel shaped ministry across the North West.

Please continue to pray that we will remain steadfastly committed to the gospel, for it is ‘the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes’ [Romans 1.16].

Download your copy here.

(On page 1 we see that St. James’ Kununurra is looking for an assistant minister.)

How I came to know Jesus – Jane Tooher

“A friend of mine named Helene became a Christian the year before I met her. Her sister took her to a Billy Graham Crusade, and she responded to the gospel. I met Helene at the beginning of high school, and she invited me to the lunchtime Christian group, ISCF. …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Jane Tooher shares how she came to know Jesus.

Sunday morning encouragement

With thanks to Rob Smith and St. Andrew’s Cathedral Sydney.

Bringing people back to church: A pastor’s word

“In one of our congregations, we recently conducted an online poll of the challenges people are facing as we head towards re-opening church.

One of the most commonly identified challenges was learning to manage our fears and anxieties as we step back into meeting in person. …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Nathan Walter looks at what is a very real pastoral question for many people at the moment.

Sunday morning encouragement

With thanks to Emu Music.

Sunday morning encouragement

With thanks to Emu Music.

How I came to know Jesus – Lionel Windsor

At The Australian Church Record, Lionel Windsor shares how he came to know Jesus.

Hint: A Scripture teacher was a part of the story!

Getting to the Heart of the Text

“Haddon Robinson’s contribution to the preaching task of the church was his emphasis on getting to the big idea of the text.

Scholars may debate the appropriateness of such reductionism, weekly preachers and their congregations recognise the value of the big idea getting to the heart of the text.

Here are some steps which you may find useful to follow…”

More resources to help and encourage preachers – from David Cook at the Expository Preaching Trust. Includes a worked example.


In Memoriam: Haddon Robinson, 24 July 2017.

Photo: Haddon Robinson.

Sunday morning encouragement

With thanks to Rob Smith and St. Andrew’s Cathedral.

How I came to know Jesus – Mike Leite

“The story of God’s grace and mercy in bringing me to faith in Jesus is very ordinary. Ordinary in the sense that mine is not a spectacular conversion story. God used ordinary means. He used ordinary people. And thus, mine is an ordinary story. …”

– More encouraging stories from The Australian Church Record.

← Previous PageNext Page →