This webpage is provided so that friends and visitors can access information on writings and listen to select sermons
preached by The Rev. Dr. Aaron Nagel with the hope that they will enrich your
Don't know what to say to God or how to say it? Dr. Nagel's writing Finding Rest: How to Talk to God
reveals a method of talking in simple conversations with God. Information about the work and how to obtain
a copy can be found under the "Finding Rest" picture on the right panel.
Dr. Nagel is passionate about spiritual growth, believing that spiritual growth does not happen by chance; it must
be cultivated. Therefore, he regularly preaches sermons and series with the purpose of connecting everyday
living with one's personal spiritual develpment.
Dr. Nagel believes that preaching is a gift, a honed
skill and an art. An avid student in the art of preaching, he delivers sermons from different preaching perspectives
throughout the year in order to open the scriptures up to a variety of listeners.
Below are descriptions and sermons preached
by Dr. Nagel to enable isteners to indentify
and understand different preaching perspectives.
(All sermons may contain slight background noise as they are recorded live.)
(Download should begin in a few minutues.)
Preaching as Teaching
Preaching as Teaching takes its roots in Expository
Preaching which centers around the meaning of a particular text. More than just exegesis (the technical and grammatical
discovery of scripture) expository preaching is careful to draw out of the text meanings in the passage in its origianl context.
Preaching as Teaching expands on expository preaching by including illustrative material from biblical,
ancient, and secular works to make the text come alive in the ears of the listener while not requiring a verse by
verse explanation of the scripture reading. It's purpose is to allow the listeners to discover meaning and to evoke
is preached from the Preaching as Teaching approach, utilizing a retention method. It examines
the theology of Grace and Justification and is based on the text of Romans 5:1-8.
Preaching As Witness
The Preaching as Witness approach was put forth by The Rev.
Dr. Thomas Long in his book which bears the same name. "To be a preacher is to be entrusted with the task of speaking the
one word humanity most urgently and desperately needs to hear, the glad tidings of God’s redemption through Jesus Christ."
(-Long, The Witness of Preaching, pgs 20-21)
On The Lights" was preached from the Preaching as Witness approach. It is based on Isaiah 60:1-6 and Matthew 2:1-12,
the visit of the Magi. The sermon is a call to the people of faith to bring the Light of Christ to the world.
Preaching as Spiritual Formation
Preaching as Spiritual Formation is a new form of
preaching being formulated by The Rev. Dr. J. Aaron Nagel and other contemporary preachers. It involves assiting the
listener through the exploration of the bible to cast a vision for a new way of life - a new way of living, thinking, and
acting in one's relationship to God, Jesus Christ, oneself and others. The preacher is not satisfied with preaching
merely to provide information, or simply to stir emotions, or to use engaging communicative skills to spread the Gospel.
The preacher desires to see the listener becoming more conformed to the image of Jesus Christ as a result of their preaching.
and Peace" was preached from the Preaching as Spiritual Formation approach. It is based on Romans 8:1-11 and Ezekiel
47:1-14 and seeks to assist in spiritual growth.
Rev. Dr. Fred Craddock in As One Without Authority proposed inductive form as one option in gospel proclamation. An
inductive form, which would be come know as Narrative Preaching, would lead listeners in a certain direction rather
than stating and then proving a conclusion. It would give listeners freedom to think
for themselves and come to their own conclusions. The sermon would point toward the preacher’s own reading of the biblical
text and re-creates the process of discovery of meaning in the text. Thus, the inductive sermon would still be proclamation,
but proclamation that 20th and 21st-century listeners could understand and engage.
Parents" was preached from the Preaching as Narrative approach and is based on the childhood of Jesus from Luke 2:41-52.
(Note: The sound quality
of "Lost Parents" is not clear and crisp and contains a considerable echo. It is recommended that you increase the bass level
and decrease the treble for listening. It has been posted anyway because it is an example of the narrative-preaching approach
and in order to provide sermons that were prepared and delivered from different preaching perspectives.
Preaching As Storytelling
Though closely related to The Rev. Dr. Freddrick Craddock's model
of Narrative Preaching, Preaching As Storytelling would include the use of resourse outside the scope of
the biblical narrative to encompass everyday, ordinary events and activies of people in the world. Preaching as
Storytelling would always lead back to the biblical narrative of the Gospel Message.
Preached from the Preaching as Storytelling perspective, "When
You Want to be Happy" explores the biblical story of the Lepers. The leper who returned teaches us that happiness can
be discovered through the showing of gratitude.
Luke 17:11-19 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18
Back to Joy
We desire to know God and to grow spiritually. However, even though our week begins on Sunday in
worship as we center our attention on Jesus Christ and hear the Word of the Lord, it seems that on Monday morning our lists
of tasks comes to the forefont of our thoughts.
The purpose of Back to Joy is to help you to remember that you are called
to be a person of God in your daily living. Each week Dr. Nagel sends a brief devotional TEXT to hundreds of people in
several countries to help them grow spiritually and to draw your attention off the mundane and into God's presence.
To receive the Back to Joy messages send your cell number
to BackToJoy@lvpc.net to be added to the list. All cell numbers are kept confidential by Dr. Nagel and will never be distributed.
Dr. Nagel is a minister in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. Currently, he is the pastor and head-of-staff
of the Long Valley Presbyterian Church in Long Valley, New Jersey. Prior to that, he served as Senior Minister of the
First Presbyterian Church of Leesburg, Florida, and Associate Minister of John Knox Presbyterian Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
A graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia where he earned his Doctor of Ministry
degree in Christian Spirituality and Spiritual Formation, and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, Texas where
he earned his Master of Divinity, he resides in Long Valley, New Jersey.
From Dr. Nagel:
I want to provide a means to assist you in your personal conversation with God. Prayer is
hard enough when 'times are good;' it can be even harder when we think 'times are not so good.' And yet, prayer is the primary
means of communicating with God in both good and bad times. How do we approach God, especially in difficult times? God loves
you and desires to be in relationshp with you, but it can be hard to speak with God. We often ask, "What do I say and how
do I say it?" People are in need of spiritual growth and direction in their lives.
Whether you are young or old, employed or retired, a seeker or religiously mature, a believer or
a nonbeliever, part of the church or never attend, spiritual growth and discipleship does not happen by chance. I invite you
to join me and discover a method of talking in simple conversations with God.
*** To recieve a copy of Finding Rest: How to Talk to God write to CLAGE PUBLICATIONS 39 Bartley Road, Long Valley, NJ 07853.
($5.00 per copy should be included with each request, cost of shipping and
handling is included. Orders are shipped immediately. Please include a shipping address.)
Dr. Nagel is passionate about spiritual growth. As we develop our relationship with God and Jesus and are led by
the Holy Spirit, we can begin to become the people God desires for us.
Dr. Nagel blogs on subjects of religious faith, God, spirituality, and the everyday, ordinary workings of the world.
It's been a while, but when he has the time it can be found at aaronnagel.blogspot.com