Preparing to Preach
Review the Sermon Preparation Guide in your binder (handout from Nov 13-14)
- The simple ideas that you have to keep in mind when you are preparing is: Information (what you are going to say), communication (how you are going to say it), transformation (what you want to impact) and presentation (delivery).
- Don’t use more than one or two bible verses, because you will have to cram a 30min message into 9 min and that won’t work well.
- Have a theme that you repeat several times over so that it is memorable and interesting.
- Have a purpose, why are you delivering this message now. If you purpose is “I have to complete an assignment in second year” that is a reasonable purpose.
- Think through, “why am I actually preaching this” pastors often preach on something based on their frustrations and that is bad! If you have this psychological check in place, you won’t do that.
- What response are you expecting?
- Practice your sermon at least twice so that you understand the time you are taking and that you have a well rounded, complete message.
- When you are listening to other people, take notes so that you get better at preaching by listening to others preach.
- When you are hearing a repeat message, you can pay attention and dissect the delivery.
Who are you preaching to?
- You can tell for this project, pick your audience so that if you want to pretend it is an evangelistic message to jr. high students you can do that.
- We will be preaching in groups of 30 in a separate room.
What if we know already how to prepare a message in a different style?
- You can prepare your own way for the rest of your life. But you need to actually practice this skill this time.
- This will be a topical message.
Can we take a revelatory stance on a passage?
- Yes, we can build prophetic bridges and all of those things, but state “understand this isn’t the original context, but the spirit has been showing me…”
How much time approximately do you expect us to use preparing for that?
- Probably about 4-5 hours.
Can we use powerpoint?
- No, logistically this can’t be done.
- No white board… you are not a teacher. This is about your words.
Are we allowed to use props and be interactive?
- Yes but keep it simple and it should benefit your message, don’t use puppets.
What is the difference between preaching and teaching?
- Teachers have a lot more opportunity to get a response from the audience by polling, quizzing…
- Preachers are trying to pull you to something amazing and give you a new perspective.
Are there any topics that you should avoid?
- There’s no kind of rule, but don’t be controversial for controversy’s sake. It’s about handling the word of God well.
Can we start out with a joke to eat up time?
- You can, but not for that reason and it’s not wise.
- No alter calls.
- You can use notes, but you probably won’t have a podium or anything.
- Often times your transitions are the most important part. It can be as simple as a sentence, but you need to link your intro to your points and from one point to another. Be intentional about that.
- You have to find the balance between being authentically yourself (using your own voice) and being big enough to accomplish this task.
- Some people are more influencers and others like to make an invitation.
What is Preaching? (slides)
- God is more interested in developing messengers than messages.
- We speak for God to His people.
- In it’s most profound form, when we preach, it is God who is speaking through us to his people.
- It is revelation.
- “we preach because God commands it, empowers it and blesses it. Preaching continues to owe it’s power…” slide went too fast
- “At it’s best, preaching is a pulse-racing, people-changing, community-developing, history-forging adventure” (Quicke p. 127)
- Preachers have shaped America. We need to not have a small view of the power of preaching.
- Jesus sent all of his disciples to preach, as well as casting out demons, raising the dead and healing the sick.
- A biblical sermon will mediate the very presence of God.
- It’s practical theology. It’s applying ideas about God to the tasks or ministry of life.
- Preaching is about an event that is remembered, experienced and anticipated.
- It’s the coming together of tow stories, God’s and ours, and how they are really one story.
- “Ultimately a sermon accomplishes it’s spiritual purposes not because of the skills of the preacher but by the power of the scripture proclaimed (and the spirit released).” (Chapell, p. 18)
- Every really good preacher is a really good teacher and every really good teacher is a really good preacher.
Goals of Preaching: (slides)
- To build or release faith for a life change for people to the glory of God.
- When we are preaching, we are trying to build faith.
- To get the listener to participate and take responsibility for what they have heard.
- “this is the ‘shock of recognition’ when a person realizes that what they already knew and believed demands something more of them” (p160)
- The congregation has two sets of needs; Their felt needs (what they feel they need in order to succeed in their Christian life) and their core needs (things they may not want or think they need like the Lordship of Jesus, being generous worshipers/givers and to build God’s kingdom)
- Bill does not preach to our felt needs very often. He often focuses on heaven’s needs. You need a balance of both in order to change the earth and take care of the church.
Theological starting points: (slides)
- Find and rest in faith as you preach. Get into that place so that you can preach well. It’s ok to be nervous but focus on god.
- Treat people with the favor and honour you’d want to get.
- Joy is key, don’t take yourself too seriously, but give preaching the respect it’s due.
- Understand your audience.
- “complacency is also dangerous when preaching. trivializing, manipulating, misleading and downright hypocrisy have eternal consequences” (Quicke)
- God is listening to us preach, Martin Luther “I have often been afraid and awed to think that I have to preach before God’s face of his great mercy and divine being” (Quicke)
- Go to God poor, in need and hungry. But come to the people RICH! (Bill Johnson) don’t come and tell people why they shouldn’t expect much from the message. Be rich before the people.
- Begin with the end in mind. How will God’s power be illustrated, demonstrated or released?
The remaining was continued on November 19, 2012 in class.
- I Corinthians 2:1-5 Your preaching should bring wisdom so that you know how to respond to God’s word.
- It’s not either wisdom or power, it’s both.
- Never tell them what they “ought to do” without telling them what God has already done.
- Just saying we should should should should.. isn’t a good message. Instead say we can can can can, because, because, because, because.
- Our imperatives should be motivated by our indicatives.
- Preach to the treasure in them. This will keep you from speaking down to people or shaming them.
- Preaching is primarily to be about God. Not the preacher or the Bible.
- Meet the hearers where they are. God always does this. Put the burden on yourself to communicate clearly and powerfully.
- God came in the flesh to make himself known to us.
- Speak to the whole person for God call us to love Him with all of our heart (truth and will), soul (emotions and experience), mind (reason and Logic), and strength (body energy and passion).
- Persuade, but be humble. Remain teachable.
- A heretic is usually something that is true and makes it the whole truth and/or over explains things beyond what scripture has said about it.
- Biblical preaching will eventually begin to affect your society – just as it did in the Old and New Testaments, and every revival since. Be aware that what you say will have impact. This should give you both excitement and a sense of responsibility.
- To be able to speak God’s word to His people and the unbelievers is a huge influence and a high calling. This does not diminish the role of doctors,
What are some tools that we can use to discover the cultural background in a piece of scripture?
- Biblical varsity by Keener.
- Or Grasping God’s word which we gave you last year.
How much do you use the historical background in your message, and how much do you just use it to make sure that you are saying the right thing?
- The 98min of revelation hunt is not all going to be in your sermon.
- When you preach, you kinda have just the tip of the iceberg showing. But a lot of the background that you put into learning the background will keep the whole thing afloat.
- So some of it might make it’s way into your message but for the most part, this will just give you some foundation.
Expository Preaching: (Slides)
- Expository preaching is getting something to say from the Bible.
- A lot of books have tried to explain expository preaching and done a poor job because they focus on historical background instead of focusing on what God is saying to His people.
- That should be our focus.
- Don’t cram a verse into your own opinions. That’s not preaching. So it’s ok to give your own opinions but you ought to know that they are just opinion and not the word of God.
- The ideas have to come from the Bible. The Holy Spirit will give you inspiration but you must have a biblical foundation.
- Start with the scripture passage, find the big idea and apply it.
- You can talk for 50min on one passage powerfully. I’m not saying you have to have lots of verses, but the backdrop must be the Bible.
- Your big idea ought to come from the text.
- It’s a COMMUNICATION of a Biblical concept that comes through and is transmitted through: historical, grammatical and literary study of the passage and it’s context. which the Holy Spirit applies to the personality and experience of the preacher.
- “the sermon is ‘truth poured through personality’ then, through the preacher, applies it to the hearer.” (Robinson, p. 21)
- “Ideally, each sermon is the explanation, interpretation, application and activation of a single dominant idea supported by other ideas drawn from one or more passages.” (Robinson, p. 35)
- Sometimes it is hard to explain exactly in one phrase what was shared at church because the speaker forgets to think like a listener and come up with a simple summary of what you are communicating.
- Make sure you connect the dots somewhere and articulate what the message is about.
- “My message is _______ because I want the people to do ________”
- Expository preaching is not limited to just leading a congregation verse by verse and teaching through that.
- A lot of us are used to getting an idea and then looking for proof that the idea is right, but we need to instead, find what the bible is saying and then form ideas based on that.
- Don’t just say “today I am going to talk about the Holy Spirit” tell us what you are going to teach us as a concept and a full sentence, not just a noun. Instead say “I’m going to explain how the Holy Spirit is our comforter”.
This assignment is not for you to dust off and sharpen up an old sermon that you gave before. Come up with something new and go through the process. I expect you to follow the 98min prep time.
How should we tell our audience that we know the historical context when we are going to add something that God is saying now?
- Just simply put in “I know this verse is about … , but today I’m going to highlight…” sometimes we speak to tension and we have to confront both sides briefly before focusing on one.
- You can teach 10min on “Jesus wept”. The Bible says a whole lot more than just the plain text. That’s why stories are so powerful.
Could you explain what the Bethel leadership thinks about thematic vs. expository teaching?
- You’d have to ask them ultimately.
- Kris often asks “what does God think about that?” and then he prays, meditates and goes to the word to find out. This is thematic preaching.
- Bill will tend to go through the expository side. For example See Generosity Transforming America, Nov 11, 2012 https://bssm2ndyearnotes.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/bill-johnson-sunday-november-11-2012/. Bill took the historical context of Psalms 112 to explain a practical application of how we are supposed to influence the USA.
How do we focus on hitting our audience without becoming seeker friendly?
- You have to look at what you are saying and think about how much of it is just from your perspective. How much of it would not apply to the other side? How does it feel for the single parent, the palestinian vs israeli, the phd vs the uneducated…
- How am I trapped in my experience box? Use your imagination to get out of your experience box.
The response is the most important part part of preaching so how can we preach without and alter call?
- Breathe the activation into the entire message. It’s not just stuck on the end.
- The transformational part is supposed to be explored as you explain things.
- Don’t slip into an emotional cadence when you are preaching the impact part. Don’t work too hard to persuade someone of something because it will feel disingenuous.
When you are preparing and meditating deeply, how do you keep from over-exaggerating parts of your study and making it imbalanced?
- As you read the bible, you are aware of the various themes so be sure and include the moderating factors.
- if if you just read 1 Corinthians the big idea is responsibility while if you read just Galatians the emphasis becomes freedom, so try to balance that.
Could you redefine the difference between preacher and teacher?
- Don’t separate the idea of being a good teacher from being a good teacher.
- The preacher tends to be a one sided monologue that is persuasive. The teacher is focused on presenting facts and letting you decide what you think about that.
- We need to combine the two a bit, but also we need to be aware that our focus is to preach, not to simply survey the varying ideas and leave it up to you.
- The anchor text is the Bible verse. The theme is how you’ve made the idea memorable.
- Ever scripture has a purpose, so in our culture where revelation can sometimes be different than the original purpose of the verse. We need to be aware of the original purpose before we apply a new one to it, but this is not necessarily wrong.
- The purpose is making sure that you aren’t slipping your own agenda into the text that is contrary to the original intent. But the focus needs to be what you want to effect your audience with.
Logistics – Gabe Valenzuela
- Honour your classmates by showing up even after you’ve done your preaching.
- You need to be ready to preach on Monday.
- The groups you are in will be primarily alphabetical but you will not be preaching in alphabetical order.