It put the holy fear of God in my heart to realize I had the ability to perform the role of a preacher and be believed and trusted when I shouldn't be. I had skills at the ready to inflate my knowledge of scripture, embellish its presentation to appeal to certain people, or protect myself with silence. So what would guide me to ensure I wouldn't perform as a preacher, but enter the pulpit as a preacher of integrity regardless of the stakes?
“What we believe leads us to what we must reject. Our “Yes” is the foundation for our “No.” What we confess as our faith leads to what we confront. Therefore, we offer the following six affirmations of what we believe, and the resulting rejections of practices and policies by political leaders which dangerously corrode the soul of the nation and deeply threaten the public integrity of our faith. We pray that we, as followers of Jesus, will find the depth of faith to match the danger of our political crisis.” From Reclaiming Jesus
God's glory is revealed in the small as well as the big: in the sparrow and the heavens, the mustard seed and the mountains, the little children and the disciples. And our preaching grows stronger when we learn to attune ourselves to the way God appears in the smallest details of the Bible's stories and text.
In these busy weeks as you plan liturgies and craft sermons, we hope you'll steal a few minutes for yourself to savor this free collection of Easter quotations—not only to enliven your preaching imagination but as balm for your own spirit. We pray this rich collection of Easter wisdom, humor, and insight helps you remember the Resurrection is for preachers, too.
The definition of insanity often attributed to Einstein is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Sometimes, preaching can feel like an exercise in insanity: we present the good news over and over with what feels like little effect. Maybe it's not our preaching that's insane, though, but our expectations. Check out two perspectives that will help you avoid the feelings of futility discourage preachers.
Fasting helps us discover what we believe we can't live without...all of which we can live without because God alone is the source of our life and breath, our contentment and joy.
Abstaining from food is the most common form of fasting, and I commend it. However, we might consider these five other forms of fasting for our personal disciplines and sermon messages.
Maybe you want it revealed. Maybe you don't.
Regardless, it's on display in every sermon.
What am I talking about? Your backstory.
Your backstory is the story you tell in your sermons without "telling" it. It seeps into your sermons whether or not you say the word, "I."
Your backstory is the unique mixture of your theology, childhood, DNA, education, church experience, personality, political persuasion, and so much more. It affects how you approach the Sunday's scriptures, influences your conclusions about them, and shapes your style and the purpose for which you preach.
To preach the message you intend to preach, consider these three aspects of your backstory to help you use your backstory in service to your preaching.
During stewardship season we preach to our parishioners about the need to offer their time, talent, and treasure.
But we preachers need a different conversation.
We need a frank, "backstory" conversation about our personal dependence on parishioners' donations, and the ways money affects our relationships with parishioners and colleagues and our capacity to preach with our whole selves.