Jamaica Preaching Course

Johnis Burton is  student from Jamaica taking preaching at Christian Leaders Institute. This Jamaica preaching course ends with a reflection what he learned. This is his reflection:

The weeks of training in different skills areas and the formulation of sermons have brought a whole new rage of concepts and ideas to mind. The art of constructing a proper sermon is dependent on the individual for one, the type of people that we are target to get the message across and the varieties of format style that can be used to present the message. The information presented in this class have open new avenue to something that I have never done before and so all the knowledge that I have gathered have become useful for future reference.

I have learnt the different types of sermon that are available and how they are used depending on your audience or your preference. These different type of sermons approach ranges from topical, exegetical, expository, testimonial etc. I have also grasped the idea that Jesus’ ministry was one in which His parching style uses illustrations and stories to reach and appeal to the mind of the wider sect.  This is a form of preaching that may appeal to people who sees and remember thing by such means.  Examples of this preaching style was demonstrated if further weeks using power points to drive the message home.

An effective sermon presents a problem and gives solution that will help. When the audience see that there is a problem and a solution is forth coming they will listen to the end of the entire sermon. Sermon construction teaches how to introduce a problem to your audience who might not even have a problem until you present one. People who go to church go there to find spiritual guidance or for a peace of mind. They are searching for love and a sort of carefree comfort that will allow them to forget about the care of the world at least for a few hours.  And so presenting them with a problem (may be theirs) will help them to see that through God all things are possible. The elements that can help to introduce a problem are: The fallen condition focus; an illustration that makes you audience feel the fallen condition; the propositional statement. With these three key elements the preacher can set the stage for the sermon and in doing so may help someone who is in desperate need of a word. As the weeks progresses I started to understand more to the point that preaching takes more than meet the eyes. Preaching and sermon construction is something that take focus on our part and the intervention of the Holy Spirit to write and deliver the message but most of all the Holy Spirit have to open the hearts of the audience to receive the message. This is where prayer, fasting, and the skills associated with speaking techniques comes into play. CLI does a great job by incorporate this method into almost each class to help learner to understand the importance of speaking when presenting a sermon. Even though it can be used in whatever speaking occasion may arise. The speaking and presentation techniques that Karen Friedman and Andrew Bryant presents was clear cut and brought new insight to how a presentation should be done in order to capture and engage your listeners.

Jamaica Preaching Course Video Reflections

There was one video presentation by John Piper that spoke to me as he dealt with the outlines of what Expository Exultation is and how to use them effectively. According to Piper the aim of this exposition is to help you eat and digest biblical truth that will:

  • make your spiritual bones more like steel
  • double the capacity of your spiritual lungs
  • make the eyes of your heart dazzled with the brightness of the glory of God
  • and awaken the capacity of your soul for kinds of spiritual enjoyment you don’t even know existed.

There were a few other videos that showed parching style along with sermon format. One such was the preaching style that made it seems like one is singing (whooping). Funny enough I have heard it before but didn’t know what it really was. The bottom line though of all this is that it is suggesting that it not necessarily about the styles of preaching but the individual bringing the message. The focus is not of the man that gives the message but from who the message is originated – which is God.

It then dawned on me that this (sermon construction) takes more work than I thought. In the first place there is a level of thought that have to be put in to come up with what sermon is to be preached on Sunday. Not a sermon with the frills and cosmetic touches that is beautiful and no effect but one directed by the word of God that will ministers to the hearts of the hearers. The next step is to begin the sermon. According to Henry Reyenga to begin a sermon one must adhere to these three simple guidelines: The word of God; Does the message come out of the truth of your own walk? Is it true to you? With these simple guideline one can begin to formulate a sermon that for the most part be a testimony of your life or in my case my life. The message must be taken by you/me before it can be taken by others. I have realized that people identify with someone when they have been there or down that path. Do you believe what you are preaching or saying? Have you even been to the doctors and he/she proscribes medication for you in hopes that you would take it according to the correct dosages? If yes I believe then that is how a pastor should minister to his/her congregation who for the most part be spiritual sick and need a dose of spiritual Madison.

The anticipation of constructing a sermon got heighten as I begin to grasp the concepts needed to set a foundation of a well-organized sermon. There was more to learn and it would take the commitment of a child of God to venture in to that aspect of kingdom building. The type of kingdom building that would need keys to making a good sermon. Professor Michael Regness gave seven essential keys to a good sermon. These keys are:

  1. A good sermon engages the biblical text
  2. A good sermon proclaimed the gospel
  3. A good sermon connects God’s word to the lives of God’s people
  4. A good sermon is well organized and easy to understand
  5. A good sermon engages the imagination of the hearer
  6. A good sermon is delivered well
  7. A good sermon orients hearers to life in God’s world

These keys make a sort of personal connection between speaker and listeners. That sort of delivery that make the listener feel like they are the one God is speaking to (in most case whether good or bad) yet is speaks and appeals to all who listens.

This class even though challenging gave me a new perspective. The learning outcome was appropriately design to capture my creativity and intellectual engagement towards the different methods and skills needed to construct a great sermon.

Whether you are in Jamaica or somewhere else, enroll at CLI.  After you take the getting started class you can enroll in this preaching course.

Bible School in Jamaica

Bible School in Jamaica – Could a CLI Student from Jamaica change the world for Christ? Because of the Internet, Christian Leaders Institute can open a Bible School in Jamaica where even the poor can receive excellent ministry training.  The unique aspect of this Bible School in Jamaica is that the entire school is beamed into the relationship between the student and his mentor.

How does this free Bible School in Jamaica work?

The process starts with a called student. Meet Kimaro Smith. His story moves me to raise more resources so that Christian Leaders Institute remains FREE of charge to even the poorest of the world.

Kimaro Smith is a young man from a crime ridden poor area of the world. Can anything good come out of Clarendon, Jamaica?

The US State Department talks about Jamaica this way: “While the vast majority of crimes occur in impoverished areas, random acts of violence, such as gunfire, may occur anywhere.”

Living on the beautiful Island of Jamaica can be difficult. Drug related crime is pervasive. Sexual assault cases are common. Violent crime is very high. Some parts of Jamaica are very dangerous.

Most Jamaicans are poor, but hardship stalks rural Jamaica. According to the Gleaner, those living in rural Jamaica are twice as likely to live in poverty than those in the Jamaican cities.

Kimaro Smith, from rural Jamaica senses the call to bring revival everywhere. Because of online ministry training from Christian Leaders Institute, there is now a Bible School in Jamaica and specifically in Clarendon.

Kimaro prayed, “Here I am, here I stand, Lord, my life is in your Hands.”

Kimaro tells his story:  “As a young Jamaican growing up within the rural area of Clarendon, my mother was ‘heaven-bent’ on ensuring my growth in the church by sending me to Sunday School (even though, she wasn’t a Christian).”

By the time Kimaro was thirteen, he was becoming cynical of church and God. But something dramatic was about to happen. Revival for Kimaro came. He attended one more church service and ”the Holy Spirit swept my heart and spirit into the loving arms of the Lord. I decided at the age of 14 years to take a ‘WALK-With-GOD’.”

“Matthew 9:37-38 – Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.’ I believe and trust that I’m a worker who has been ‘called’ into His harvest as an evangelist, to rescue and steer the lost sheep from slaughter to the green pastures of the Almighty and already that mission has begun with my own family and others.

It’s my dream and duty to travel the globe declaring the Gospel and empowering the saints.

It is therefore significantly necessary for the development of myself and my ministry that I am equipped with the knowledge and training of the scriptures as taught by the Christian Leaders Institute and as stated in 2 Timothy 2:15 – ‘Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.'”

Kimaro has boldly made this statement: “I have taken on the responsibilities, as a man of God, to see to it that the Word of God as declared by the Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples is spread to the ‘four corners’ of the world, and the teaching at Christian Leaders Institute would be a push towards such a calling by a young man from rural Jamaica.”

Help me in my struggle to keep ministry training free so that young people from a poor place can be prepared to bring revival to the nations.

Bible School in Jamaica Mentor

Kimaro Smith’s mentor is the Bishop Trevor Williams who supports his young “Timothy.” He wrote me and said, “I happen to be his pastor and I am only too willing to make the facilities of my church available to him and others who are so inclined to pursue Theological studies with your institution.”  Thanks to Bishop Williams for his help to aid this Bible school in Jamaica.

Name:                     Johnis BurtonDaniel

Scripture:              Daniel 1 (focus vs 7)

Theme:                  There Is Something In A Name

Sermon #1 in the Sermon Construction Class at CLI

Summary of the Author of the Book of Daniel

Daniel the author of the book of Daniel was one of the Major Profits in the Old Testament era. Daniel’s account was of a historical format. He was born in the 17th century BC and died about 6th Century BC in Bobylon.

Daniel in Hebrew is “Daniyyel” which means “God is my judge”. When Daniel was a young man, he was educated in Chaldean thoughts. However, he never converted to Neo-Bobylonian ways. Through “divine wisdom” from his God, Yeheweh, he interpreted dreams and visions of kings, thus becoming a prominent figure in the court of Bobylon.

When the lion’s den event occurred, Daniel was in his 80s. Through a life of hard work and obedience to God, he had risen through the political ranks as an administrator of this pagan kingdom. In fact, Daniel was so honest and hardworking that the government officials – who were jealous of him – couldn’t find anything to remove him from office. So they tried to use Daniel’s faith in God against him. Eventually he had apocalyptic vision of his own that have been interpreted as the Four Monarchies. Some of the most famous accounts of Daniel are: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, The writing on the wall, and Daniel in the lions’ den. (web search www.christianity.about.com and en.wikipedia.org/wikidaniel.com)

Daniel  1:7 Focus 

Examining how a name takes on a character take for example the name of Jesus which means. It is written in the word of God that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess who is Lord … (Rom 14:11). Therefore a name is truly powerful.

The Hebrew names of these young men showed that they were worshippers of the true God, Jehovah! The following names were the Hebrew names given to the three Hebrew boys along with Daniel.

Daniel which means “God is my judge”

Hananiah which means “ Jehovah is gracious”

Mishael which means “who belong to God”

Azariah which means “Jehovah helps”

Daniel 4:8 reveals that king Nebuchadnezzer renamed these Hebrew after his gods! New name were given to these captive from Israel, not to just blend them into the Bobylonian court, but to change their allegiance from their God to the gods of Bobylon. And as we continue to read the story of Daniel we will notice that Daniel nor the three Hebrew boys were not affected by the name change because they remained faithful to their God and was rewarded for that faithfulness. Research from the web www.dedication.com

These are the name change as follows:

Daniel was changed to Belteshazzar with the first three letter of his name “ Bel” meaning “Marduk” Nebuchadnezzer favorite god.

Hananiah was changed to Shadrach which means “command of Aku” the moon god.

Mishael was changed to Meshach which means “who is like Aku” the moon god.

Azariah was changed to Abednego with the first four letters of his name meaning “servant” and the last four “nebo” instead of “nego” meaning “god of wisdom”.

True Attributes of a name:

Naming could be attributed to God originating through a divine birth announcement (Gen 17:19; Luke 1:13). Naming took place near birth in the Old Testament and on the eighth day accompanying circumcision in New Testament narrative (Luke 1:59; Luke 2:21).

The Bible concept of naming was rooted in the ancient worlds understanding that a name expressed essence.To know the name of a person was to the promise of God through character and nature. Revealing character and destiny, personal names might express hope for the child’s future (Congregation participation). Changing a name could occur at divine or human initiative, revealing a transformation in character or destiny (Gen 17:5; 17:15; 32:28, Matt 16:17-18).

The knowledge of a name implied a relationship between parties in which power to do harm or good was in force. That God knew Moses by name occasioned the granting of Moses’s request for divine presence (Ex 33:12). The act of naming implied power of the namer over the named, evidenced the naming of the animals in Gen 2:19-20 or Pharaoh’s renaming Joseph Gen 41:45, compare Daniel 1:6-7; 2 Kings 24:17.

Proper names consisting of one or more terms consciously chosen by namer conveyed a readily understandable meaning within the biblical world. Reflecting circumstances of the birth Rachel called “the child of her death”. (Ben-oni, “ son of my sorrow” (Gen 35:18)). Jacob was named “the supplanter” for he tool hold of Esau’s heel (Gen 25:26). Moses, “the stranger in a strange land” named his son Gershom (Ex 2:22). Research www.studylight.org

Picking the right name for a child is a parent’s job, but giving a child a name like Mercedes for example or Champaign tells a lot about the parent and the child. The best way to get a name that is God approved or will spiritual fits a child is to seek God’s approval on the name you have chosen for your child.


My research clearly indicates that a name takes on a character and expresses an essence. Look at some of the problems in our society today and the chaos in the school system. It is a fact truth that some children wear a name and what it represent as the nature overtake them. Do we research a name before we give it to our children? A child that is called “DEMON / DAMON” what is that name saying about the child? The child will live out the meaning and essence of that name. It is not that a child is born bad, but what his character draws him to good or bad things helps to form him for the future.

We also need to be careful when we give our children “nicknames” or call them a name when we are angry with them. It scares them for one, but it also helps define their character in the physical and spiritual. Don’t be surprise you see your child / children acting a certain way they can’t help it they are wearing a proverbial garment that you gave to them that they will wear for the rest of their lives.