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There are right and wrong ways to include personal stories and anecdotes in our sermons. Dr Adam Copenhaver helps us to think through this minefield and shows us some of the right ways to talk about ourselves, and the stories that we SHOULD include. When preaching to congregations that are made up of varying levels of education stories become even more important for turning abstract concepts into concrete realities. 

Adam Copenhaver has experience both as a Bible scholar and as a local church pastor. He studied first at Grace College and Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, IN, earning a BA in Biblical studies (2001) and an MDiv in Pastoral Ministries (2003). After serving for a few years as a local church pastor, Adam pursued further theological training. He studied first at Westminster Theological Seminary, where he earned a ThM degree in Old Testament (2009). His studies at Westminster focused especially on hermeneutics (Biblical interpretation) and he did research on how the book of Psalms is used in the New Testament. Adam then shifted to New Testament and completed a PhD at the University of Aberdeen, Highland Theological College (2012).

Adam is currently the pastor of the  Grace Church of Mabton in Mabton, WA, where his ministry focuses especially on the teaching and preaching of God’s Word. As a pastor, he focuses especially on God’s saving work in Christ and strives to make Christ the center of the church’s ministry and practice.

His publications include Reconstructing the Background of Paul’s Rhetoric in the Letter to the Colossians (T&T Clark, 2018); What Is Christian Marriage: Notes for Developing a Biblical Theology of Marriage and Sexual Ethics (2016); and Translating Colossians Clause-by-Clause: An Exegetical Guide (2016). He has recently published a commentary on Colossians and Philemon for Kregel Publishers. 

Adam is proudly married to Susie, his wife of 20 years, and he has two boys, Simon and Calvin, as well as occasional foster children. Together, they enjoy reading, playing pinochle, hiking, and camping.

You can listen to Adam’s sermons here:

Learn more about Leadership Collective here:

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Recommended Episodes:

David Downs – Paper Time and People Time:

Eric Cartier – The Power of Connection:

Jason Cruise – Getting Application Right:

Rafael Manzanares – The Power and Danger of Personal Illustrations:


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