(From a recent training session at Brightwater)
Preaching for Transformation
POMT 4 July 2008
What is the ‘big picture’ of what we are seeking to accomplish through preaching?
Speak God’s truth
Nurture God’s people
Build God’s church
Enable Christian maturity (Colossians 1:28)
Strength, en-courage God’s servants in the world
Personal, ecclesial, world (missional) dimensions to preaching
Transform people’s lives
Change the world
How big is our vision for preaching?
Reflection before each sermon and before each ‘year of preaching’ plan:
- what is the immediate outcome of this sermon,
- what is the ultimate outcome of all sermons in this parish?
Thesis: the church is shrinking in numbers relative to a growing population and in influence relative to rampant secularism and materialism …
turning the tide is not only about ‘growing the church’ (internal church transformation) it is about evangelism (engaging the world with the gospel) …
to engage the world with the gospel requires a mission force (the laity) who regularly hear preaching which engages the world with the gospel …
Examples: Jesus, Paul, John Chrysostom, Augustine, the Dominicans and Franciscans, Luther, Calvin, Wesleys and Whitefield, Martin Luther King
Observation: a lot of preaching is focused on internal church transformation. This is good, but it is insufficient!
Preaching can change the world
Why do Muslim preachers have the impact they have on the 21st century?
What does our preaching consist of?
Texts which transform (does the text first transform us?)
Preach for Transformation – Going Beyond Information
Communion in the body of Christ with God
God’s Kingdom come
Preaching for Transformation – things to do, things to avoid
Are our sermons ‘isolated’ or ‘connected’ to the service and to the wider life of our parish?
The reason for ‘Theme, Sentence, Collect’
Connecting through Creed, Intercessions, The Peace, Songs, Eucharistic Prayer, Dismissal
Are we undermining our own sermons?
Who (rehearsal) (who needs to know what by when: readings, data, intercessions, songs)
Which readings? Advantage of the lectionary is …
What is the one sentence goal and one sentence summary of my sermon?
What is the connection the sermon makes to the world in which its hearers live?
Review of sermons
What do we look for in a review?
Constructive criticism and best practice de-construction
Sample Review: see separate sheet
Where to from here?
The next sermon
Five years from now
Twenty-five years from now
I will be a successful preacher when
People tell me I have preached well
People become Christians
Signs and wonders follow
Newspapers report what I say
The bishop investigates me and tests my content for heresy
What is the goal of preaching?
What is the goal of my next sermon? (in one sentence)
Preaching for Transformation
In the end ‘preaching for transformation’ is much more than how we open up the text, the style of our preaching, and whether or not we undermine our sermons by preaching for too long.
Preaching for transformation begins with the transformation of the preacher.
If God through reading Scripture can change me, he can transform anyone.
If I am impervious to the working of God through Scripture, why should I expect any outcome to my preaching than the impartation of information?
Ephesians 4:1-16 – the role of preaching, teaching, evangelizing, apostolic doctrinal foundation laying in the growth, development, maturing, and unity of the church.
Colossians 1:28: ‘Christ we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.’
The preacher was:
Time, date, place of sermon:
Main reading for the sermon:
What I liked about this sermon:
Start time: Finish time: Length:
How did the length of the sermon ‘feel’? Too long Just right Too short
Points which struck me:
How do I think a non-Christian would have understood this sermon?
This is my one sentence summary of the message conveyed:
Preacher responds with, This is my one sentence summary of the message I conveyed: