I'm building a more robust toolkit, or artist’s palette, so that I can deliberately choose the right tool or style to communicate a given message. While I'm still writing on Saturdays (for now!), I'm never starting from a blank page, which has helped me to fall in love with preaching again.
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.
This is not where I expected to meet you.
I never set out to run an online preaching formation center for Mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic clergy.
I was given this nice little idea to help a few preachers at a time. Work with them one-to-one for a year. Help them get better at preaching but tuck it into a process more like spiritual direction.
But now, here I am. A tucked-away-in-a-corner preacher no one knows is now sending you emails, blogging, getting on Facebook, publishing a book, and inviting you to be part of a preaching approach that's way bigger than you or me.