Daily Gleanings: Planning Preaching (20 September 2019)

Matthew Boffey discusses strategies for planning a preaching calendar, which may be useful if you’re combining study or teaching in the academy with a full- or part-time church work position.

Among Boffey’s recommendations are to

Plan at least one year out.… When you think of all the responsibilities and surprises … in any given week, you don’t want to add “decide what to preach this Sunday” to the list.

[and not] preach to who isn’t there. Your congregation may not need to know the intricate arguments for Pauline authorship of Ephesians, or why Schleiermacher is wrong about biblical inerrancy.

Going along with the first of these recommendations, you might try synchronizing what you will be teaching or studying at school with what you plan to preach or teach to your congregation.

Of course, as you do so, you’ll want to be mindful of the second point I’ve excerpted here. Technical work on the biblical text is important and needed. But it doesn’t necessarily make for good preaching and can simply provide an opportunity for a preacher to put on airs.

If you want to edify your congregation, you likely can’t read to them the same seminar paper or lecture you gave for your class. Instead, ask yourself “What’s the point?” of all the technical work that will be edifying, and then think about how to preach that.

While you can’t copy-and-paste from an academic paper to a sermon—or vice versa—that doesn’t mean you can’t “double dip” and draw from both for the same well of study.

For more discussion and suggestions from Boffey, see his original post.

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