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Preaching is hard. Damn right it is.
Only someone who has never done it could think otherwise!;-)
I'm not sure I would say it is hard, certainly if you want to do it right you need to really work at it. It is like any other craft - a skill that can be honed. And yes there are times when the text seems to taunt you by not giving up the fuel for your oration. But I think we often think it is harder than it is and that makes it harder to do. This might be that many preachers have no clue that communication skills, including message development skills, can be improved. When I was a corporate trainer I had the priviledge of taking courses on developing and delivering teaching material. At that point I had a fair number of years peaching under my belt as well as a couple years teaching at a college. I thought I knew what I was doing. The first class I couldn't help wishing that the vast majority of my preaching friends could be there with me. One interesting thing I took from that was a confidence that I can put together a message that is decent in a short time - which freed me to really start digging into the Word for the message that I really felt was coming forward.The other thing that helped me immensly was migrating our community to a lectionary. Now I know what I am wrestling with. Sometimes that makes it harder, but I think my preaching has become much richer for it. I don't tend to stray far from my text either - except for the immediate context. And I tend not to use commentaries as much as I used to. If I use a commentary it is often after I have already wrestled out my message and I want to see if I am tracking with what others had gleened from the text.Then again I love preaching/teaching, so for me it is a joy to wrestle with a passage. I love it when I finish a message and folks tell me it really spoke to them. So maybe that is why I am hesitant to say it is hard.
And the reason for the gratuitous swear word is . . . . ?Nonetheless, I do enjoy and appreciate your site! TomDoctrine Matters
It is doubly hard when God doesn't give you a revelation! Being an amateur, I usually get a few weeks to prepare and get confused between preaching and selling a better mouse trap. If someone can do something meaningful every week, I am in awe.
I didn't think that "preaching" was a swear word, though it did seem fairly gratuitous.keep up the good work, Ben.
Thanks, Ben, for linking this fine article. I had a good read of it this morning and found it a helpful introduction homiletics literature. Interesting to see Jason Byassee writing for a Christianity Today publication.
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