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."
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.
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.
Sometimes, what looks like procrastination is actually failure to make a decision. After all the decisions we have to make, What am I going to preach? can feel like the Everest of decisions. As a result, we put our sermon prep off. But we can anticipate this difficulty and plan for success.
How do we overcome the fatigue that causes us to put off our sermon prep? How do we just get started?
If you've only ever started your sermon prep with gritted teeth, we have an invitation for you. It's time to try a new way: begin with play.
How? We'll get to that.
But first, let's convince your logical left brain why letting your right brain have a turn at the wheel might get you to your destination more effectively.
Adults learn differently than children, and that means putting different principles to work. There's even a word for teaching adults: "andragogy" (as opposed to pedagogy).
The coaching relationship may best capture the nuance of these distinctions. You can learn to think like a coach with these take-aways from the article "Transformative Learning: Another Perspective On Adult Learning" by Connie Malamed.