Thursday Thoughts: 4 Questions 4 Sermon Preparation

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I never took a homiletic class in seminary. Thought about it but since I was not figuring on becoming a ‘preaching’ pastor I did not. (Nor did I obtain the standard Master of Divinity or MDIV degree. Mine is an MA in Religious Education!)

I did take a speech class in college as I was required to as part of my BA. I waited until my Senior Year to take it and because it was time to take it and plus I had three years of college life under my belt by then. To have taken it as a Freshman would have been hard because my life experience and educational background would have been less.

Now in the early days of my ministerial career I preached perhaps once or twice a year. But in the last church I served before I came to my present location, it was up to once a month. Now, I preach around 45 sermons a year.

I think that I have gotten better at preaching over the past 11 years than when I came but there is always room for improvement.

But like golf which I would rather play than watch, I don’t like reading about preaching I like to simply preach.

I have had one or two homiletic books in my library but I have not opened them in a while. And the most important book to have shaped my preaching is a book on learning styles called The 4-Mat System by Bernice McCarthy. (It was a seminary text as well)

It is an excellent book and I have tried over the years to shape my sermons to include all kinds of learning styles. (The active learner, given the passive nature of most sermons, has been hard to accommodate. But I am working on it!)  (Go here for more information about the book http://www.amazon.com/4Mat-System-Teaching-Right-Left-Techniques/dp/0960899200/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316107009&sr=8-1 )

I have read many articles on preaching and I have talked with several colleagues about their preaching schedules and approaches. They have been helpful and informative.

I have incorporated suitable video clips in my sermons and have always tried to give the appropriate credit where due. And I now use my iPad to preach from. I save my Word doc file to my Dropbox account and then open my Dropbox app and read it from there! I manuscript my sermons otherwise we would at church all day!

But at the rock bottom I have always tried to be myself when it has come to preaching. I am primarily a conversational style of preacher and I always attempt to be as contextual as possible  in my explanation of scripture.

But this year four questions came to me that I have started to ask myself, and the Holy Spirit, as I have prepared to write my sermons. They have been very helpful and I share them here for the benefit those who teach and preach the Bible on a regular basis.

May God be honored by my preaching and teaching and by yours!

 Q 1: What does God want to say through me this week?

       Q 2: What course of action does God want us to take as a result of this message?

       Q 3: How will this help me honor God with my life this week?

       Q 4: How does this help me do my part in fulfilling the Great Commission and the Great Commandment?

these are my Thursday thoughts

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