I really have no idea where I’m at in Tim Kellers’ 200 sermons Preaching-Equation. But this week I had the privilege of jumping into the preaching rotation for our sermon series “The Messiah for the Rest of Us”, a study of the gospel of Luke. My text was Luke 3:1-20 and we looked at how John prepared the way for the Lord, Messiah Jesus by preaching repentance. So… I went with the title “Repentance is Good News!” And my big idea should have been “Repentance is only good news if you believe God’s story, repent of your religion, and exalt the Messiah.” I say “should have been” because of the feedback I’ve already received from my friends. Speaking of which, I’d warmly invite your thoughts and reflections if you have/make the time to listen.
After taking some time to evaluate my sermon, I came up with this…
- I love to preach because it causes me to soak in God’s Word and to behold the beauty of the Incarnate Word. The greatest benefit of preparing a sermon is the intense preaching of the gospel to my own soul.
- I (unexpectedly!) spent a larger time than normal following Keller’s advice sharing my life with my church family–through counseling, prayer, ministry. So that cut my sermon prep down a bit. However, I’m sure this is part of what Paul meant in 1 Thess. 2:8 “So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.” Preaching the gospel in everyday ministry is critical for preaching the gospel on Sunday.
- Oddly enough, I did not spend enough time reflecting on “who” would be listening. I did not prayerfully consider the trials and joys of my church family enough.
- I have a tendency to preach concepts and therefore spend less time on explaining the “authors’ argument.” I think this is due to my goal of preaching the themes of biblical theology.
- I wish that I had encouraged more participation, dialogue.
- It would have been so helpful to linger on the question and explore the implications of “Should a healthy Christian repent more or less?”
- Major missed opportunity!!!! Didn’t even think about the comparison of John’s “preparing the way” for Jesus and the massive “preparing the way” for President Obama’s inauguration ceremony. The amount of planning, security, coordination is mind-blowing.