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We preachers often wonder whether our words have any effect. The people we preach to and the world around us pretty much look the same week after week. It doesn’t often look like the Good News has caught fire in people’s hearts. It doesn’t look like the reign of God is being built. For all our efforts to preach the Good News, how come it looks like nothing much is changing?
Preaching through lent requires significant theological knowledge. What do you know? What don’t you know? How do you know? Using this 4-step process, discover your gaps in knowledge so you can prep more efficiently and effectively for honest sermons that capture the true nature of God.
This is the most intensive season of the year for priests and pastors. With Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, multiple services for Easter, plus extra Lenten parish educational activities, there’s a lot to prepare for. Before you feel overwhelmed, though, let’s do a quick review to remind ourselves what will help your sermon prep—and all your preparations—to be holy, from your heart, and as efficient as possible.
Change—and its attendant grief and loss—can feel like darkness, gloom, and storm clouds are gathering on the horizon, which makes Ash Wednesday the perfect time to explore those feelings in our sermons. Here are four tips to preach through change, grief, and loss this Ash Wednesday
Let’s be honest: The observation of Lent is often reduced to artificially somber and ritualistic practices of self-denial without an honest, whole-hearted attempt to genuinely experience the flow and meaning of the season. The “practices” undertaken involve simply giving up chocolate or wine. That’s suffering for Jesus, for sure, but what does it accomplish if we’re not focused meaningfully on what we should be? So I’d like to suggest that in our preaching, we shake things up a bit. Let’s preach a countercultural Lent.
Fasting at lent can seem rote or compulsory or just a convenient way to drop a few pounds. But Jesus has bigger plans for our lives than watching the scale drop. In this post, I offer a 6-week lenten sermon series for your use. But before you dive into its structure and content, let’s take a moment to consider Jesus’s why and how for fasting.
Preachers and reporters often face the same challenge: to tell the same story in a new way. By thinking like a reporter, we can find dozens of ways to share the Good News from a fresh angle.
To be an amateur means you do what you do for the love of it. Not because you have to. Not because you get paid for it. And not because you have a deadline to meet. You do it because you love it. The “greats” in any craft become great because they’re amateurs first. They pursue their craft with joy, zest, and fascination.
Scripture—lectio divina, the Daily Office, biblical scholarship, and community study—has been a passion of mine before I knew the words to call it. This part of my life has held a privileged place in my schedule for so long, that I came up surprised and saddened to begin to realize just how much of our scriptures I had been neglecting.