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Preaching/Teaching Preparation

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JonShaff, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    Greetings!

    I thought it would be interesting to hear from the Teachers/Preachers out there and learn what they do in order to prepare for a sermon/lesson. This may include everything from prayer to speaking with the song leader to sing a certain congregational song before the sermon. Things that i would like to see are: How did you choose the passage? How do you exegete the text? How did you determine the meaning? How did you determine the application. What is the meaning? what is the application (i'd like to get specific so that maybe I or someone else can learn from this), What does your exegetical outline look like? what does your sermonic outline look like? (if you have one) How did you morph the one into the other? (if you had any). How did the word studies/commentary studies/historical context studies help you determine the meaning of the passage?
    What is the text saying? What does it mean from what it is saying? What does that mean for us?


    It'd be great to see how you did the work and then how you actually preached it, if at all possible.

    Maybe it could look like this:

    I am preaching through Ephesians and this is where i am now

    Introduction to Ephesians
    Ephesians 1:1-2
    I studied out Acts 18-20; Revelation 2 to get insight into the Biblical Context of Ephesians. Also, I looked at Paul's other writings to see his salutations. I have Logos Bible Software, etc, etc...
    These are the words i looked up ...etc etc.

    While Checking out some commentaries, i learned about the Culture in Ephesus, etc. etc.

    I gave an overall introduction to Ephesians by speaking on the main themes located here, here and here...etc.

    Anyway, i hope this becomes an edifying thread...looking forward to the replies!
     
    #1 JonShaff, Feb 7, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
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  2. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    Maybe the closer we get to Sunday, the more participation we'll get? lol :)
     
  3. Covenanter

    Covenanter Well-Known Member
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    Your approach to Ephesians looks very sound.

    The choice of text or passage to some extent depends on the needs of the congregation & of course those needs will vary - we want to teach the young in the faith, encourage the mature in their service of the Lord, warn the unsaved & preach the Gospel to them.

    Each sermon should basically have a theme derived directly from the passage so the congregation know where your going & can take home that theme, that message.

    You may want to use topical events as an introduction, but avoid politics - you may divide your church. If you are a visiting preacher, make your sermon self-contained & encourage the resident Pastor.

    If you are a regular preacher, keep to a book. I would aim to preach on the main aspects of the story & go through a book fairly quickly, before possibly returning to preach on specific texts in more detail.

    And ALWAYS include preaching the Gospel.

    I put my last sermon on the forum when Reformation 500 was headlined.
     
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  4. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Jon, I often find myself the “odd-man out,” with ways and procedures that often don’t look like what everyone else is doing. But I don’t think we should throw out considering what works with the way that God has wired us individually. I am an advocate of sermons growing out of our personal studies rather than studying a text just for the purpose of creating a sermon. So, many of the sermons grow directly out of whatever book of the Bible I am studying at the time. It might develop into sermons through the entire book, or it may consist of highlights in that book. I also teach verse-by-verse/paragraph-by-paragraph through books of the Bible that are not so much like “sermons” but more interactive, with questions & response.

    With that said, what I do begins with reading through a book of the Bible, not particularly as preparation for a sermon. I will consider what type of text it is (genre: song, epistle, prophecy, etc.), the context, to whom it was written and when, the meaning of words in the text, and so on. After I get a fix on what I think it means I will consult what others have said about. My “exegetical outline” probably isn’t such in anyone else’s estimation. It will begin with notes and words and questions and verses that I’ve jotted down on a piece of paper, then mentally (and sometimes on paper if it is complicated) I will sort this material out into what seems like a logical progression to me. Sermon outlines, if I can be said to have such, are in my head. I don’t take notes into the pulpit.

    Application: If the text means “X” historically and in context, then what does “X” have to say to us today? How does it affect us? Perhaps also try to consider where this fits in the overarching Bible theme of God’s creation and of salvation through Jesus Christ.

    All that said, it doesn’t mean I stick with an exact “formula” at all times. Several years ago we were studying 2 Samuel 21:1-14 (about the Gibeonites and Saul’s sons) in our Sunday morning Bible study. The study ended precariously unfinished, so I started from there in my sermon and preached on that. (I think that is the only time a congregation has known that I had “changed my sermon,” and because of the circumstances it couldn’t be helped. I’ve heard some preachers that seem to get a charge out of letting everyone know that “God gave them a different sermon than they had prepared.” Maybe they thought it sounded spiritual; to me that came off as pride.)

    Learn from others. Be flexible. Pray. Follow God’s leadership. Pray for humility. Preach.
     
    #4 rlvaughn, Feb 8, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
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  5. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Jon, I decided to add a couple of things that I hope won't distract from your main purpose.

    I think when we preachers (especially long-time ones) address something like this, we do so from a sort of ideal perspective. This is what we have learned from a long series of trial and error -- and this is what it looks like in our minds if it actually worked ideally! But you may have spent the week caring for elderly parents who are ill and have really not studied/prepared as you normally would. Or you have have prepared the "perfect" sermon only to get in a fuss with your wife or children Sunday morning before church -- and really would rather sit in your easy chair with your arms folded than get up and preach to a congregation! But we must press on.

    One other thing. Back in my day preachers often borrowed sermon outlines to preach -- without any preparation. I understand that nowadays you can do such electronically. Such is shameful, and the neglect of one's duties to his church. Once a guy prepared an outline. He had been taught in school "you can't have an 'A' without 'B'." He had a point under which he could only think of "A" -- so he wrote in "B", and beside that point wrote, "you can't have an 'A' without 'B'." Another preacher borrowed that outline and was sailing along smoothly until he came to that "B" point and read it, "you can't have an 'A' without 'B',"confusing the congregation. Actually, this guy was adept and gregarious enough that he worked through it and none were much the wiser (that was told to me as the truth, whether it is or not!). Not too many years ago my wife and I were visiting a church where the pastor did a study on angels. It was not great, but I guess not terrible either. But after we left my wife told me, "I just read that in the Reader's Digest" and she showed me the article when we got home.

    All that set-up to rebuke shameless borrowing, but also to say that we learn from others and shouldn't be ashamed to pass along what we learn from others. Don't pass it along mechanically, be sure you learned, and always give credit. Awhile back I varied from my usual based on something I heard on the radio. When I heard it, I thought, I've never noticed that before. Then I studied it in the Bible for myself, learned something new, and was excited to pass it along to my congregation. But I (1) didn't just repeat what so-and-so said, but had internalized it myself first, and (2) gave credit where credit was due, starting with something like, "I didn't know this until I heard so-and-so mention it in his radio program."
     
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  6. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    Thank you dear brother!
     
  7. PastoralMusings

    PastoralMusings New Member

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    RLV and I seem to hold much in common on the issue.
    I tend to preach verse by verse, so I often meditate on a passage through the week and outline my notes on Saturday.
    I do occasionally change the message, but I don't always tell it. If I do it is because I want folks to know I'm heavily burdened and concerned about what I have to say. I dislike changing from what I've prepared for. I do not change readily/easily. I figure the Holy Spirit can guide my preparations through the week just as well as He can guide on Sunday morning, so I don't want to rule Him out by changing on a whim.
     
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  8. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    I know a lot of people are spending much time in their text and may not have a chance to reply to this thread--I just want preachers and teachers to know that i am praying for you all. May the Spirit enlighten us to the Beauty of Christ. May our hearts be filled with the glorious riches of God's Grace in Christ as we prepare to speak to God's people the Truth of His Word.
     
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