Sermon Prep

Roughly How I Do It


I find that when I prepare my sermon, I write it out many times and refine it - until I think I know what I'm going to say. And if all else were to fail in delivery, I could read it aloud word for word.

But mostly what happens is that when I actually get here, into the situation in context, and see how we've worshipped - and who is present, and how I'm feeling - and how people seem to be hearing, feeling and responding . . . then what I say is very often quite different than what I prepared, even though the essence may be yet there. Immediacy and context help 'the bird' to fly, lifting the message off the page and from the heart.

It's as if once I have walked from one clearing, through the woods to another clearing opposite - to have done that once, then I'm able to come back and lead others, taking them with me - moving through the woods, (once again for me but perhaps the first-time for them), striking out and striding forward in any number of ways and along many optional paths.

If I don't press through once, initially - machete in hand - hacking here and there, then, when I try to take others through I'll be easily disoriented and people won't be able to follow me: they'll be lost.

Does that make sense?

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