Assuming some of the people who read this blog don’t preach regularly (OK, assuming that people read this blog is a bit of a stretch), I wonder if any of you have ever spent time thinking about what you’d preach if you had a week to prepare. And it’s not enough to say, Well I’d preach Jesus. Or, I’d preach the gospel. No, no. You’ve got to dig deeper than that.
For example, if you were going to “preach Jesus,” what would you say? What text(s) would you use? What would your point be? What would you want people to hear? What changes in beliefs, attitudes, or lifestyle would you want them to make? Ah, it’s starting to get more complicated now, isn’t it?
Well that’s the situation I’ve been in this week. I’m preaching here at West Side on Sunday morning, and I’ve been torn between all sorts of options. Some might think that this makes preaching eaiser–lots and lots of texts and topics to choose from. But not for me. I’m the type that, while understanding there are many good options, also typically feels like their is only one option that is the very best. Now, right or wrong, that’s a personality trait that I have to live with.
I don’t want to be generic. I want to preach something that really impacts people, something that meets a need or illuminates something about God that people need to know. But since I don’t have all the answers, this becomes quite a process for me. This requires prayer, research, reading, brainstorming, seeking friends’ advice… and then more reading and brainstorming and prayer. And then I get started with the rough draft of the sermon. And I’m always glad to get started.
So, I’ve got a sermon nearly ready to preach Sunday. My text is John 11, but that doesn’t tell you too much does it? Lot’s there to talk about, but a good sermon only has one clear point of focus, so you’ll have to show up at West Side this Sunday to hear the conclusion to this week’s exercise. But, in the meantime, I wonder what would you preach about if that was your task this Sunday?
Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear your ideas! I think the experience will be rewarding for you, too.