I’ve had the privilege of speaking at our church a few times in the last number of months. I am new to this. It is both anxiety causing as I find my way, and completely exhilarating at the same time. I get anxious until I have something down, a rough outline, a general theme or direction…but until them, I am a wreck. A mild wreck. Sitting with the passage has helped. Asking questions of the text, learning about the context, politics, writer, and readers, has been helpful. A bit of history is always fun.
I write notes….lots of them. I write it out word for word (about 97% word for word). Do you do this? I’d love to know.
I sometimes feel two ways in preparation. If I am familiar and comfortable with the text, I feel like I could tell stories around it endlessly without notes. I am not foolish enough to ever do this…but just feel this. I also feel like I’d be lost if I haven’t written it out word for word. How about you?
I like writing a sermon out word for word because it allows me to word smith somewhat. A friend Christie said that Darryl Johnson said that it is “preaching for the ear”. I like that…it sounds good. I like words and this is where I am on my short stint as preacher.
I would like to move to more general guideline-type notes….small notes, with little dependance on pulpit. I don’t like pulpits. I like conversation and story telling.
One conviction I have is that preaching should always prophetically call people forward “toward hope” (that’d be a great blog name). I like to evoke imaginations though story, not getting a group of people to come with me on top of a text analytically, but rather, (hopefully) inspiring a people forward to get caught up in the text…to live in the Kingdom story and envision what opportunities for faithfulness look like in our context….crafting a biblical imagination, if you will. Another way to put is is that I hope to tease out where new creation is happening right before our eyes. I am excited about this aspect. Is it a good one? I’d like to know.
I think poetry and preaching go hand in hand. I wish I were a poet. I try, but I’m more hack than poet. I think poetry is why I lean toward writing out my sermons. It gives me time with words to learn how they play off each other and how they roll of the tongue.
I’d like to learn more about preaching. How have you approached this craft?
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