Common theme of your sermons

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Karen, Jan 1, 2002.

  1. Karen

    Karen
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    This is a question for those that have delivered more than one sermon in public.
    Do you have a theme in your sermons recognizable to others?

    A number of my former pastors seemed to have a theme that overlay whatever text they were preaching from. They often did not seem to be consciously aware of this. It just seemed to be their main interpretative template for Scripture. This was in addition usually to the main evangelistic exhortation to the non-Christians present.

    For example, one ALWAYS got in the idea that Christians should have a renewal experience in the Christian life a la the Keith Miller books popular in the 60's and 70's.
    Another REALLY stressed obedient Christian activity such as correct baptism, tithing.
    Another liked Jack Taylor and Manley Beasley and always stressed that Christians should be joyful.
    Another saw in every verse of Scripture that Christians should soar above the circumstances.
    Another's theme was that God REALLY loves YOU.
    My last one saw in every verse of Scripture that God likes NEW things.
    My latest emphasizes that God is calling out a people.

    Certainly, this is somewhat of a caricature.
    But if anyone listened to you over the long while, what do you think would be the main theme discernible?

    Karen
     
  2. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    Karen,

    That's a really good question and something I try to be cognizant of. One advantage of the discipline of writing manuscripts is that it allows me to look back over my sermons and watch to see if I'm starting to find the same themes in every text.

    I have noticed that when I've been doing a lot of pastoral care or chaplaincy, I tend to talk more about grief or the darker side of the texts.

    As a whole, I think that almost all of my sermons mention mercy and hope somewhere, since I think they are at the heart of the Christian experience, and very important in corporate worship.

    I will say that following the lectionary and the Church Year make it harder to preach the same sermon 52 times.

    Joshua

    [ January 01, 2002: Message edited by: Rev. Joshua Villines ]
     
  3. TomVols

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    This is indeed a very intriguing question. Like Joshua, I think writing at least one sermon per week is a good idea (Although I don't read the manuscript from the pulpit). You have to find fresh ways of saying things and not get caught rehashing old cliches and old catch phrases and the like. I like to preach through Biblical books. In doing so, you will encounter a common theme or strain of thought particular to the writer and the purpose of the text, particularly in Paul's epistles. But you don't have to express it in the exact same words or ways.
     
  4. Pete Richert

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    I thought I would just throw in a few.

    Johnathin Edwards main theme seemed to be,"
    The happiness of the creature consists in rejoicing in God, by which also God is magnified and exalted." John Piper's main theme agrees but is restated as "God is most Glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." Scott Hafemann is also in this school of thought but would ephasis God's glory in the face of our dependence.

    Each agrees (and I must admit I am being persuaded) that the major theme of the Bible is the glorification of God by us praising God for His mercy and love which He gives us freely though the Lord Jesus Christ.

    I am not a pastor at the moment (grad school in engineering actually) but pray constantly that God will call me to such, and I believe that I may adopt this theme from this line of Godly men.
     
  5. TomVols

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    I suppose we have to define our terms here. The aim of our preaching should always be the glory of God, the edification of saints, and the conversion of sinners. Obvioulsy, there will be traces of these themes in our sermons. But we should be careful not to have the common type themes of the so-called "hobby-horse" preachers who (For example) take every sermon and preach the millenial reign and the role of Israel, or some other doctrinal theme. Reminds me of the fellow G. Campbell Morgan once claimed he heard preach on Genesis 3:9, "Adam, where are you?" Morgan said his outline was: 1) Where Adam was; 2) Where Adam needed to be; 3) A few remarks on baptism :eek:
     
  6. Karen

    Karen
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    bump
     
  7. swaimj

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    Karen,
    I think this is an excellent question. Truth is, all preachers have favorite themes they like to talk about. A preacher must try to be aware of what they are and he must be careful not to overemphasize them. One guard against such an overemphasis is to preach systematically through books or on themes rather than get up and preach "what God laid on my heart." A preacher who preaches in the latter fashion is almost certain to dwell on only a certain few themes. also, Haddon Robinson says that a preacher needs to be a student of the Word and equally a student of people so that he knows what God says and also knows where people are so that he can communicate God's truth to them in a way that is effective.
     

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