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To become a better golfer, there are clear skills one can practice to improve. But what if you want to become a better preacher? The Preacher’s Trust offers ten areas to which preachers can dedicate consistent effort in order to see growth in their life, spirituality, and craft.
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?
I haven't laughed so hard in ages as I disclosed my own worst foibles and heard from my colleagues about theirs! Rather than reveal our "worst" sermon (which for all of us had been blessedly erased from our memories; God is merciful!) we on the panel revealed three of our biggest mistakes and what we learned from them. Here are my "Top Three."
Ending a sermon with “Amen” is both redundant and ill-fitting with the purpose of a sermon. In truth, though, most preachers aren’t worried about these technicalities when they finish with “Amen.” They simply don’t know how else to conclude. Consider these five types of conclusions for a more effective close instead.
“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
How can you really know what your listeners need from a sermon? It may be as simple as asking. John McClure, the Charles G. Finney Professor of Preaching and Worship at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, suggests collaborative preaching for sermons that meet listeners in their questions and need. Check out four ways to tap into the power of collaborative preaching for your own sermons.
What does the trinity mean in our current contexts? How should we as preachers approach the concept? Or should we at all?
For busy preachers, looking ahead at the preaching season may seem to be a luxury you can’t afford. But taking the long view can actually save you time. Learn why this practice can better your preaching and discover how to set up your own seasonal sermon prep.
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.