One of the the best teachers that I have studied under in preaching Dr. Kenton Anderson hosts a website called Preaching.org and is an advocate of integrative-classroom. Click the link to open up various resources on the topic and learn the approach first hand.
The Lectionary is not part of my usual preaching tradition, but today I preached as part of the Liturgical service at Ft Jackson. It was the Third Sunday of Easter, in year B in the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL).
The readings were: Acts 3:12-19, Psalm 4 (read responsively), 1 John 3:1-7, and the Gospel reading was Luke 24:36b-48. The service was great, full of reverence, readings, and prayers. Preaching the lectionary was more fun, yet more challenging than I thought it would be. I began looking for the theme that connected these passages. “Witness” seemed to be the theme that stood out. The Big Idea for my message was,
“Witnessing the Resurrected Lord must move us from talk to walk.”
While in Seminary working on my Th.M, I took a class at Harvard Divinity School, Preaching through the Liturgical Year. It was a good introduction to the idea. I discussed the difference between preaching sermon series and preaching the Revised Common Lectionary with preachers from each tradition.
Many of you who do this regularly might know about many resources, but I wanted to point out a few helps.
If you are preaching the lectionary as part of your tradition there are several resources to check out.
There is a great commentary set entitled Feasting on the Word
A resource I have found helpful is the Lectionary Lab. Pastors discuss reflections on passages via a podcast.
Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) has been a great experience and there are many resources available to help. The Lectionary connects us to the larger church and the cycle of the Christian year.
Do you used the RCL regularly?
How has it been helpful?
What has been difficult?
What are the most helpful resources you have used?
As you preach, do it well, honor God and use the best resources as you teach His Word!
Deep Sermons cannot be preached by shallow people. Profound sermons only come from people who enjoy a profound relationship with God. Like it or not, the condition of our personal relationship with God will control our public ministry for God. – J. Kent Edwards
Christians believe, want to know God’s Word and come eager to hear your preaching. Non-Christians don’t believe, aren’t that interested in God’s Word, but sometimes end up in your services. So how do you preach to the unconvinced? How do you destroy the negative stereotypes they have about God, the church, and you as the preacher? And how do you help them to have ears to hear what God has to say to them? This eBook from church planter Vince Antonucci is divided into seven practical principles Antonucci has found to be critical and effective in preaching to the unconvinced. With each principle, he offers helpful examples of how he puts them into action, as well as inspiring real-life stories of how the unconvinced have become convinced.
Seven proven principles for preaching to the unconvinced
Strategies for busting stereotypes of pastors, churches and
How to evaluate and use your preaching to create a safe place
for the unconvinced
How to creatively use culture to build bridges
How to anticipate and proactively respond to questions and
The year has just started and chances are you have given up on some New Year’s resolutions. You have looked back and said, “January is over already?”
If someone were to tell you, “This year is going to be your best preaching year ever.”
What would have to change in the way you Plan, Prepare, and Preach for this to be TRUE?
PLAN: How you decide what you are going to preach?
Pray for guidance as to what your congregation needs to hear and that God will form you as you plan to form them.
PREPARE: How much time do you set aside for your sermon prep?
Have you tried anything new? Is there something you could do differently to help with your preparation?
Read a new book on preaching or Bible study this year and implement something new in your sermon prep.
This year you could work with your peers or a preaching team as you prepare and encourage each other.
Take more time, if you have been working week to week, work out a few weeks and see how ideas flow as they marinate over the weeks before you preach. This helps me to add more creativity and insight in my preaching.
PREACH: When was the last time you got real feedback after your sermon? Good football teams watch game films and are honest about the strengths and weaknesses of the game. In the Army we do AARs or After Action Reviews.
How could you do a better job of sermon self-evaluation?
Ask for help. Watch your sermon and be honest about what you see. Check out Sermon Coach.
Make this year, the best preaching year ever for you!
What will you do? Your congregation will be glad you did!
Strength of America is a video produced by the Army about the strength and spirit of the Men and Women who have answered our nations call.
As a Chaplain we minister to many outstanding individuals and families. We are called to “Nurture, Care, and Honor” our nations greatest treasure, those who are called to serve. We have a unique calling and we speak into a unique context. Think about the unique situations and the diversity of listeners that a chaplain is called to speak.
One of my favorite quotes by Douglas Macarthur in his farewell address to WestPoint sums up the virtues of the Soldier.
The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training – sacrifice. In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when he created man in his own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of the Divine help which alone can sustain him. However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country, is the noblest development of mankind.
As we prepare to preach, Are we aware of the context to whom we preach?
Ask a few clarifying questions to understand context:
What is the occasion I am speaking? Sunday Service or Special event
What is the purpose of the event? Religious Worship, Study, Fellowship
Who am I speaking to? Diverse Rank, Age, Gender, Families, Religious Background, Are they known or unknown to me?, Military or Civilian.
How many are expected? How would my message be different if it were 5 or 5000?
What is the facility? Chapel, Gym, Conference Room, Outside, Sound System, Technology
What do I wear? Dress Uniform, Duty Uniform, Civilian Clothes Casual or Dress
Coaching Tips to Help Others
What has helped you become aware of the situational, cultural, and individual contexts in which you preach?
Does to whom you are preaching effect your preparation, illustrations, and style of delivery?