Dr. Lorin Bradbury is an author and writer. He serves as pastor of the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska. He is a member of the North American Missions Administrative Committee. He earned a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Mississippi. He is licensed to practice psychology in the state of Alaska, where he has an established private practice in Clinical and Forensic Psychology in Bethel, Alaska. Dr. Lorin Bradbury and his wife, Bonnie, have been married since 1971. They have five children and twelve grandchildren.
We interviewed Dr. Lorin Bradbury about his books Starting Points and Starting Points for Revival. He has a wide readership: pastors, minsters and readers of daily devotionals.
What motivated you to write Starting Points and Starting Points for Revival?
I began pastoring in 1976, and I have saved my sermon and Bible study notes from that time until the present.
I found it difficult to move forward until I found a key starting point. Thus the idea of Starting Points came into being.
In total I have spent thousands of hours developing lessons for the congregations I have pastored. I did not want all my work lost when I die, so the best way I could think of was to get it into print in a format other ministers could use. Also many times when I began to develop a sermon or Bible study, I found it difficult to move forward until I found a key starting point. Thus the idea of Starting Points came into being.
Who is the intended audience? Some people use your books as daily devotionals. Tell us about that.
The intended audience is for pastors who are preaching and teaching on a regular schedule. These books could be used in our Bible colleges in classes on sermon development. When I develop any lesson, I develop them in modules with segues between the modules. Sermons should flow from introduction to closing, and listeners should not have to wonder where the speaker is going. In a presentation I developed on sermon construction, I took one of these lessons and demonstrated how to build a sermon piece by piece. I believe these could be used by instructors to parse a sermon much like an English instructor would parse a sentence.
The books can be used as daily devotionals because the lessons are complete with illustrations. When you read the lessons, you are reading what you would have heard when I taught the original lesson.
Would this be a good resource for a bivocational pastor who needs a resource for mid-week Bible study?
Absolutely! Pastor Lane Coon wrote an endorsement for Starting Points for Revival addressing this very point. He said that as a church planter with so many responsibilities, it is helpful to have a jumping off point for Sundays.Ministers of the gospel should continually be developing their preaching skills. It’s important for speakers to be very cognizant of whom they are speaking to and the needs of those listening. #apostolicauthor Click To Tweet
What is the difference between Starting Points and Starting Points for Revival?
The subtitle of Starting Points is A Balanced Diet for Your Church. Teaching three times a week, I teach and preach approximately 39 times in a three-month period. I selected 13 lessons from each quarter throughout the year, being careful to include lessons on each of the major holidays and events in a calendar year. For example, in Starting Points, you will find lessons to begin the New Year, Valentine’s Day, Good Friday, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Between those holidays are randomly selected lessons from three services a week taught in Bethel and two services a week I taught in Toksook Bay. Starting Points for Revival is made up of lessons that I developed to teach the congregation I pastor on how to have revival. Some of the titles speak for themselves: Serious Business, What All Team Players Should Know, A Personal Revival, Personal Responsibility for Revival, Keep Casting the Net, Preparing the Nursery, Handle with Care, and so on.
The description for Starting Points mentions giving your church a balanced diet of essential topics. What do you mean by that?
Just as your body needs a balanced diet to grow, the body of Christ needs a balanced spiritual diet to grow.
I’m afraid too many pastors get stuck on one or two topics. But just as your body needs a balanced diet to grow, the body of Christ needs a balanced spiritual diet to grow. Keep in mind that the 52 lessons in Starting Points is only one-third of the lessons our congregation received that year.
How has your years of experience as a teacher, preacher, and pastor informed your work in putting these volumes together?
I believe the word “experience” is key to your question. Ministers of the gospel should continually be developing their preaching skills. It’s important for speakers to be very cognizant of whom they are speaking to and the needs of those listening. Preachers must be more than verbal commentaries. They must be able to apply the Word to the needs of those listening. I believe years of experience have allowed me to do that. In turn that is reflected in the content of the lessons in these books.
Resources and Links
Starting Points (often used as daily devotionals)