As an Associate Minister, preaching is part of what I do. Normally, I preach once a month, which generally means that I spend about three weeks being consumed by other duties and responsibilities, and then I focus in on preaching for a week or so before my turn in the pulpit comes.
Recently though, I have had preaching on the mind for several reasons:
- In about two months’ time (late April through late June), I will have preached nine times. Two of the sermons were for weddings (which are different than regular sermons but present their own challenges), three will have been at Farmington, one at a youth retreat, one at our summer church camp, one for a grad school class, and one for another local congregation. Because of the specific circumstances surrounding many of these engagements, most of these sermons cannot be recycled. For a guy who usually prepares one sermon a month, that’s a lot of preaching.
- As I alluded to above, I am currently in a preaching class as part of my grad school program (in fact, I’m actually in Memphis all week for class, which explains my lack of activity here on the ol’ blog). As a part of this class, I have learned a ton about the theory and theology behind preaching, and it has left me incredibly convicted about the importance of it all. And I’ve experienced the joy (sarcasm alert) of preaching in front of my classmates and having my sermon examined and evaluated for strengths and weaknesses.
- Related to the class I am taking, I’ve read four books on preaching over the last six weeks or so which have taught me much about sermon form and composition that I never even suspected before.
- Last month it was announced that our preacher, who has been my coworker for several years and is a good friend of mine will be moving before the end of the year and will begin another ministry with another congregation. The process of searching for and hiring a preacher has been in my thoughts, both on his behalf, and on behalf of the church family at Farmington.
Maybe later I’ll have more to say about all I’ve learned in my preaching class, but at this point, it’s too early for me to clearly reflect on all of these preaching-related thoughts and happenings.
However, one thing has been firmly impressed on my mind: God entrusted the proclamation of the gospel and thus, the belief and salvation of others, through the medium of preaching (Mark 16.15-16; 1 Corinthians 1.21). That means it’s not something to be taken lightly, but should be undertaken prayerfully and studiously.