This is Part 2 of the integration of emotional health and preaching. Again, these points emerged out of multiple conversations between Rich Villodas and I around preaching in our context at New Life Fellowship Church. The following is the second of three parts on our learnings.
- Leave ample time in prayer and meditation around the text (e.g. lectio divina, memorizing the text).
- Utilize the power of community exegesis. Talk with others about your message beforehand.
- Connect your message to equipping/connecting opportunities, leading people to action (e.g. workshops on Skills, genogram workshop, retreats, Daily Offices, Day Alone with God, small group connections).
- Be vulnerable and broken around the intersection of this truth and your humanity/journey with Christ.
- Be sure to create an introduction that answers the question: “Why listen to this?”
- Clear transitions are important throughout the sermon.
- Be intentional to emphasize that all of life is holy (work, recreation, sexuality, vacation, buying a car, friendships). Watch your language. For example: Everyone is called to “full time ministry.”
- Be careful not to seek validation from the congregation when you are preaching. You aren’t ready to preach until the focus is on them and not on you.