Monday, September 19, 2011

Principles for preaching- Give the tip of the iceberg

A sermon should be only a small part of what the preacher knows and understands from a passage.

You should do enough work on the passage that you could do three or four different messages. Then you select the one that you think is most helpful to the people you are speaking to.

There are two ways to avoid this principle.

The first is to do loads of work on the passage, and then try to cram it all into one message, along with every connection in Biblical theology, every application, every illustration. The result is a mess, full of truths, but usually incomprehensible (and boring)

The second, more subtle, way to avoid this principle, is to not do very much work on the passage. To be attentive to it only until you think you have an idea that you can string out for 20 or so minutes. You can say everything because you simply don't have much to say.

Your sermons will be much better if you give only the tip of the iceberg. People will notice.
Of course, the downside is that the first group of preachers might mistake you for the shallow second group. And the second group will wonder why you take so long with sermon preparation.
You will also feel a bit crap after each sermon.
But your congregation wont

No comments: