On Preaching

I preached tonight at church. "Preach" is probably not the proper word. It was more of a first-person narrative. Sometimes I like to preach and make a clear point. Sometimes I like to tell the story and let the Spirit speak to each person. Tonight's text (Matthew 4:12-23) lent itself more to a narrative--I portrayed the disciple Andrew talking about Jesus' calling Him to be a disciple. Through it the first-century concept of discipleship was explained.

I'm enjoying being on the preaching team at church--though preaching was something I never thought I'd do too regularly. I don't even get that nervous beforehand. Part of preaching is studying the text. This is a good thing. I seldom take the time to really study a text in depth--reading the background on a passage and such. It also makes me interact with the text, listening to how it speaks to me, discerning how the active and living word is calling me to be transformed.

Part of what I like about using the lectionary each week is that I'm not coming at the sermon with my own agenda. Yes, interpret the text according to what I hear the text saying, so it's still my voice, but I think there's a stronger chance of the Spirit directing the message. I also love the rhythms of the church calendar and how we get to hear so much from the entirety of the Bible.

Sometimes I wish there was more space for feedback after the sermon (which, I guess I could of course make room for). I usually get some "That was good" or "I enjoyed that" or even some helpful comments on how I could have improved the message. Sometimes I run the risk of letting that stroke my ego--enjoying the praise. What I would like to hear is more about how the message spoke to individuals--how it is calling them to be transformed more into Christ's image.

I do appreciate that part of our preaching team meets together each week (the person who just preached, the person who will be preaching/teaching next and any others who are available to be there). We give each other feedback (including what we saw and heard from others), give input into the text for the next week (and how each week may be connected) and spend plenty of time in prayer (we also begin with the evening office of the Divine Hours). We all have different gifts and voices to bring to the table. It's a blessing to hear them all and to get to be a part of sharing as well.
*Photo by Tonya Toutge


Jane D. said...

Wooo hooo! I love God at work!

Tonya said...

The preaching team is such a gift to our community. I too, pray that we hear more of God's heart for us and the world through the collective voice of the team. (It was great to hear Andrew's voice too!)