Joy in Preaching

I am interested in preaching. I am interested in how I can communicate the good news of Jesus Christ. I want to keep growing in this area. However, I also struggle with preaching. So I’ve decided to start writing down my thoughts sharing the process behind the sermon. This is mostly for myself, I don’t expect a lot of people will be reading this post but as a church, we are also thinking about how to speak about our faith so you never know something I say might connect!

So, let me begin my reflecting on my last sermon, ‘Our Book of God’s Acts’. I’m not sure if this is appropriate to say, but I had fun preaching again on Sunday. It’s been a while. The last two times I have been preparing to preach, I have struggled the night before. I usually dedicate two hours on a Saturday night to the sermon coming off the page and into my head and body. But this term it’s been a fight. I wonder if all the effort is worth it. I wonder if the sermon is the best way to communicate (especially during COVID-19)? I was preparing ‘The Importance of Improvisation’ and the words choked in my throat, I just sat there in my office. So, I stopped and cut up my sermon into little pieces and turned it into a discussion. I improvised just like the title of the sermon encourages. I don’t think it’s the best thing I have ever said but I think it’s time for me to embrace improvisation more.

I had a week off, and finally, turned to Acts 27-28. The last two chapters. I have never tried to spend two terms working through the one biblical text before! It has some challenges, but it was satisfying to make it to the end. I wanted to finish with something fun. I wanted to finish by embracing the story element once more. Acts 27-28 is such a great story – it’s an adventure story – a travel journal, and so that is what I did. I also tried to embrace video and had all these video loops of oceans and storms and turtles swimming that were going to play behind me as I talked, but the technology failed. I am interested in how film could be used in preaching. If I had more time and skill, I’d go out to a beach somewhere and literally tell the story on a boat – like a video blog. One of the things this pandemic has reminded me of that I want to remind others of is that God is not just in our church building. God is everywhere. That’s what Luke speaks about as well- God is there on the ship, and in the ocean and on the islands. God is everywhere bringing life, and this Sunday, God brought life and joy into my preaching once more.