I've been a pastor for close to a year and a half now. During this time I have already preached well over 200 sermons (not counting Sunday School classes and nursing home ministry). Along with that, we recently started a mission work in the Kansas City area where I preach 2 more times per week.
So, you would think I should have become a pretty decent preacher by now... unfortunately, I recognize many of my faults and shortcomings when it comes to preparing and delivering sermons. In fact, I think I have picked up a lot of bad habits already that are going to be hard to break. So, I have come up with a plan of attack on improving my preaching, and I decided to encourage other preachers to join in on the challenge.
Here are some of the goals I want to achieve with this series of challenges:
Now, before you get super spiritual and say "Preaching isn't about YOUR abilities, you should just let the Spirit lead..." let me stop you and ask you of a few things. Aren't we to be good stewards of everything God gives us? Aren't we supposed to strive for the mastery? Shouldn't we give God our best?
It is a great shame to think that a lazy preacher would blame the Holy Spirit for the lame sermons that he stumbles through week by week while putting his poor listeners to sleep. I know I've been guilty of preaching plenty of duds... but I certainly am not going to blame the Holy Spirit for my lack of preparedness.
I'm going to make 6 posts in this series (1 post per week for 6 weeks).
Note: the idea is to continue working each week on all that has been practiced in the previous weeks.
Week 1 - Scripture Reference Familiarity
I am starting with this subject because it is the most important. We are BIBLE preachers! No matter how we preach or what mistakes we make while preaching, we want to at least make sure we are clearly getting God's Word into God's people! In order to do that, we should be very familiar with what scriptures we are using in our sermons! Following are the challenges of the week:
If you can think of some other challenges or thoughts that might help us to improve on "scripture familiarity," please share in the comments below. God bless, and may the Lord increase your zeal for ministry as you addict yourself to it (1 Corinthians 16:15).
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