On Preaching

I hope this entry will be helpful for all especially the beginners (like me) in terms of preaching God’s truth in a much more formal setting, say in church (rather than in home fellowship) πŸ™‚

Following paraghraphs were taken from “Preparing to Preach” by Wayne Jackson

God's Words is The Truth

Thorough preparation in preaching involves several crucial elements:

Research (a gathering of the appropriate data);

Meditation (carefully considering the needs of one’s self to the lessons, and then to his audience);

Organization (arrangement into a logically developed, intelligently argued format); and,

Presentation (a delivery that neither distracts from the basic message nor unduly attracts attention to himself).

It is not uncommon to hear an after-sermon quip to this effect: β€œHe was great! But I can’t remember a thing he saidβ€”except for that hilarious joke.”

There is so much of the Bible to learn that the preacher can study all of his life and never master it. But blessed indeed is the man of God from whom people want to learnβ€”because he genuinely is a prepared β€œman of the Book.”

A century ago there was a complimentary saying concerning well-studied preachers: β€œHis sermons smell of kerosene,” which signified that he had spent long nights by the light of the coal oil lamp in preparation. If one may be excused for a certain level of crudeness, it might be said of some sermons today: they just β€œsmell.”

Other useful link: How to Preach with Authority and Sensitivity by Kenton C. Anderson, from which I learn about the following:

“The preacher’s job is to help the listener take hold of the message offered.
There are two primary approaches a preacher could choose. The first is by means of explanation, and the second is by means of experience“.

As we prepare a sermon, the four moves above can be uncovered by asking four questions:

Move 1: What’s the Story? (Experience of the Text)
Even in the Book of Romans, there is always a story. There really were Romans. They lived in Rome. They had lives much like the lives of people today. For example, when I preached from Romans 8:18-25 (Read this sermon at preaching.org/groaning.htm), I noticed the text set up the present “groaning” of the people with the “glory” that would one day be revealed in them. I found it helpful, then, to help my listeners identify with the Roman Christians, who were groaning just like we groan over many of the same things. Identifying the story of the original audience can help the listener see the humanity in the text, creating an experiential encounter with the message that will not easily be shaken off.

This is God's Light

Move 2: What’s the Point? (Explanation of the Text)
The Bible offers truth that can be examined, detailed, ordered, and for the most part, understood. The preacher need not shy away from offering points, well explained and carefully put. This was a key component of my Romans 8 sermon. The problem I had, however, was that the passage was almost too rich. There were many aspects that could have been developed for the profit of the listeners. I decided to focus on the big idea, “We won’t groan forever. ” Focusing my explanation around this simple idea allowed me to help the people understand that pain and suffering is temporary and of little consequence when weighed against the glory that God has made available to us in Christ.

Move 3: What’s the Problem? (Explanation of Today)
The problem with biblical propositions is they are not always easily accepted. The Bible is profoundly countercultural. If a preacher offers biblical truth with integrity, there will be inherent conflict in the engagement with contemporary listener presuppositions. Acknowledging the problem from the perspective of the hearer will be important if we care about listener comprehension and assent. In my Romans sermon, I was able to focus on the innate aversion humans have to suffering. Deferred gratification is not a value today’s listeners hold dear. Acknowledging that reality and struggling with it in the sermon helped my listeners see the credibility of the message and deepened their receptivity to the truth of the text.

Move 4: What’s the Difference? (Experience of Today)
Of course, head knowledge without heart response is hardly worth the effort. Every text intends a response from the listener as they grow in obedience to the God who created them.

In my sermon from Romans 8, my challenge was simple. I was counseling patience. I was concerned to help the listener hold on, despite the discouragement that inevitably comes. My goal, then, was less to educate at this point as it was to inspire. I was looking to instill a measure of hope and confidence in God’s promise. This hope would play itself out in specific responses to the challenges of the listener’s daily life.

These four questions will help us organize our notes into a form that can integrate the concern for text and today, explanation and experience. They can help the preacher speak to a variety of cognitive styles. They can help the preacher help the people hear from God.

And here is just the additional tips How to Preach a Lousy Sermon by Rev. Ken Collins, just follow the link πŸ˜‰

God bless you all my friends, let’s God light shines upon and through us! πŸ™‚

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