Monday, May 14, 2007

More Sermon Prep

A couple of posts ago I wrote concerning Gene Redlin's question about prepping for a sermon. In reviewing my own post, I seemed to continue a bit on my comments over there, and left with a possible misunderstanding of my view of preaching. I'm not suggesting that the pulpit is wrong, just that it is a tradition, mostly used for good, but sometimes abused. If it is placed above other essentials, to their neglect, then it can be idolatrous. I have a friend that told me he did 60 hours of prep to substitute for one Sunday school class. Things can be overdone.

Occasionally, I hear sermons with little prep, such as when the regular preacher has something come up at the last minute and can't do it. Prep can be helpful, but I think that a life in the Word, with preaching on something many times before, can help with a spontaneous sermon.


  1. I've often wondered about the format of a sermon. Sometimes it is grounded in 'rules' - what some higher level of chruchdom says we as a denomination are supposed to beleive and sometimes it is more grounded in opinion of the pastor. Or sometimes it is about what some learned scholar has said about something. But rarely is it perfectly clear what the 'source'. In that respect, would it not be more important to engage in more of a discussion based format? No, I am not saying everyone gets a chance on that Sunday, but maybe there is a 'new business' and 'old business' concept - the pastor on Sunday could deliver a message and some thought provoking concepts and statements and there could be discussion groups following up duriing the week? There could be a short followup by a couple people or the pastor the next week - the old business - followed by a 'new' sermon on something fresh? Might give people permission and encouragement to think for themselves and take it all a bit more seriously?

  2. I think preperation is important - so as to get the point across you want to in the sermon. That being said, too much study is just ridiculous (I have to agree here). Spontaneity is a good idea though - I find myself waking up certain mornings considering one of Jesus' teachings and I feel I could build a sermon right there (it's weird but that's how it works for me).