For the first 17 years of my Christian life I grew in knowledge and leadership experience. I worked with university students full-time, graduated from seminary, and started a church. My leadership gifts blossomed. The size and impact of the ministry expanded. The problem was that growing in love was not my number one aim. I focused on bigger, better, and faster – like most of the leaders around me. I wasn’t asking myself: Am I meeker, patient, soft, safe, approachable, courageous, kind, and honest this year than I was last year? Am I less easily triggered under stress? Am I breaking my bad habits from my family of origin (e.g. stuffing resentments, lying when hurt, resolving conflicts poorly, not being attentive)? Are people close to me experiencing me as loving? A revolution took place in my life when I read Jonathan Edward’s sermons on 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. His exegesis and insights launched a Copernican. Read more.
This is Part 3 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 last of three parts: 18. Connect the message to the larger vision of the church. 19. Tell compelling stories around your main point, using strong visuals when appropriate. 20. Manage the tension of good sermon preparation and spontaneity (remaining open to the Holy Spirit during the preaching moment). 21. Look for opportunities for creative delivery means to deliver your sermon whenever possible (e.g. Alone Together, Daily Office, Testimonies, “silent sermon”, panels.) 22. Be aware certain sermons are “Culture Shifting Sermons.” They go beyond the norm, shifting the church culture in a significant way. They require implementation, shifts in priorities, discussions as a leadership. They have a prophetic edge to them and release something spiritually into. Read more.
The following 25 points emerged out of multiple conversations between Rich Villodas and I around preaching in our context at New Life Fellowship Church. We have been noting how God has been coming to us through the preaching process. The following is the first of three parts on what we are learning about “emotionally healthy preaching.” They are not in order of importance. Remember: You are doing spiritual formation. Life change is our goal. Preach from grounded place of a contemplative (i.e. out of deep place of prayer). Be grounded in one text, referring to it often through the message. Do thorough exegetical work. Keep in mind the importance of silence and space in your preparation, adjusting your rhythms accordingly. You can’t do as many other leadership tasks. Embrace your limits. The text must change you first, both during and after the preparation. What is different in your life because of this sermon? Know. Read more.