Congratulations to Bobby Lee and Andrew Ducker. Following in the footsteps of Mandy, Norma, Sarah and Andy, they have completed the occasional preachers course today. It is quite an achievement – it is a thorough course. They now have a much clearer idea of where a sermon might come from – and how to shape it so that the way the message is delivered suits them and the hearers.
You sermon afficionados, probably without realising it, know what makes a message hit home. That is not a thing that is so easy to describe, though. You maybe can point to something that was said, but often it is the occasion, what happened that day or that week, or something you’v been puzzling over, that gives the fizz that fuses all these things together and makes you take notice.
Sermons are written in all kinds of places, you know. As you notice a verse, as a thought crosses your mind unexpectedly, as well as mining in concordances and googling. Some pieces are key, and crystallize lots of floating ideas.
I’ve got to say being in prayer, particularly with others, often allows stray thoughts to come and coalesce. Not a few times, a key thought has emerge from prayer, often on the lips of somebody else, at the 10.00 pre-service prayer meeting (in the Lounge), and that has become the ‘word,’ sneaking into the sermon, that people have gone away holding onto.
A sermon, at its most effective, comes to a life of its own in the course of God meeting with his people, and using that as one of his means of apprehending us.