Episode 329 Practical Tips for Preaching Transforming Mission

Episode 329: From Worship to the Word – Practical Insights for Preaching 

Explore the art of preaching, lectionary use, and sermon preparation techniques with insights on cultivating relationships with Jesus and the congregation.

Whether you’re a seasoned preacher, a new pastor, or simply curious about ministry, there’s wisdom here for everyone.

This episode dives into the second half of a conversation that started in Episode 329.

Transition from Worship to Preaching

The interplay between worship and preaching is significant, impacting how each element is received and practiced within the church community.

The Role of the Lectionary in Preaching

What is the purpose and role of the Revised Common Lectionary? While the lectionary provides a consistent, structured way to tell God’s story throughout the year, preaching can also benefit from flexibility. While the lectionary is helpful, creating sermon series that directly address contemporary issues and the congregation’s needs is important.

Advice for New Preachers

If you’re a frequent podcast listener, you already know that notable preacher Fred Craddock was one of Tim’s seminary professors. While Craddock likely would never preach a three-point sermon and tell people that’s what was happening, Sara asks Tim to share his top three pieces of advice for new preachers. 

He emphasizes:

1. Cultivate your relationship with Jesus.

2. Cultivate your relationship with people.

3. Learn to talk about Jesus within those relationships.

These foundational tips underscore the importance of authentic connections both spiritually and relationally in effective preaching.

Listening to a Sermon

What good is a sermon if it is not heard? A sermon is about communicating God’s Word to a group of people. There is art to listening to a sermon. 

Genuine listening is focused on the content and not the charisma of the communicator. There is a responsibility on both parties. The preacher needs to communicate messages that are so impactful they resonate with people throughout their daily lives. And the congregation needs to focus on what is being said. 

Major Themes in the Gospels

Discussing the major themes in the Gospels, Tim provides an insightful overview:

– Matthew: Focuses on teaching and relationships. God sent Jesus to teach us how to live.

– Mark: Emphasizes opposing evil and enduring suffering. God sent Jesus to oppose evil, pain, and suffering in the world.

– Luke: Highlights the Holy Spirit and inclusivity in ministry.

– John: Presents Jesus as the complete revelation of God. If you’ve seen Jesus, you’ve seen God.

Understanding these themes guides preachers in contextualizing messages appropriately.

Context and Form in Preaching

It is crucial it is to respect the context and form of scripture. Preachers must avoid misusing scripture and should let the context reveal its truth. Knowing the form of a text—whether teaching, prayer, or narrative—helps deliver sermons that are faithful to scripture’s intent.

The Use of Stories and Illustrations

Stories and illustrations are carefully included in sermons. Stories should illuminate scripture points without overshadowing them. Personal anecdotes are valuable but should not make the sermon about the preacher rather than the message.

Preparation to Delivery

Listen to hear Tim detail his sermon preparation process, first by immersing himself in scripture, engaging with commentaries, and meticulously crafting his message. Delivering sermons is not a theatrical performance but an engaging, authentic presentation of God’s word.

Additional Wisdom for Preachers

Effective preaching comes from a deep relationship with God and genuine love for people. Preaching should always reflect a life lived in communion with Jesus and a heartfelt desire to convey God’s love to the congregation.

Final Thoughts and Benediction

Preaching is a wonderful responsibility. Anyone called to the pulpit must bring their whole life to the vocation, not just their words. Preaching, they agree, is a discipline and a lifestyle of dedication to God and community.

TimeStamp for Practical Insights for Preaching

00:33 Transition from Worship to Preaching

00:46 The Role of the Lectionary in Preaching

03:08 Advice for New Preachers

04:31 Listening to a Sermon

07:27 Major Themes in the Gospels

14:01 Context and Form in Preaching

22:32 The Use of Stories and Illustrations

26:00 Preparation to Delivery

32:22 Final Thoughts and Benediction

Other Episodes in this Series

Episode 328: Worship – Cultivating Authentic Experiences

Episode 327: Cultivating Christ-Centered Leadership

Episode 326: Discipleship – A Ministry Masterclass

Episode 325: God’s Mission – Exploring the Heart of Ministry