Art of the Sermon Episode 6: Using and Abusing The Lectionary
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Strategies for staying at our best during Advent (0:33)
Taking advantage of January (7:13)
Christmas visitors versus Easter visitors (9:08)
Reflecting on the conversation with Rev. Robb McCoy and Rev. Eric Fistler (10:45)
The lectionary as a tool to use well or poorly (13:19)
The value of lectionary resources in preparation and expanding perspectives (16:21)
Deleted Scene: Struggling alongside our congregations (18:18)
Questions for reflection on your 2015 (23:29)
Merry Christmas and thank you! (24:53)
Links to things mentioned in the episode
Defining Grace Blog Post: Permission to Go Short During Advent
Preaching Collective Blog Post: Making Your January Sermon Series Your Best Ever!
Rainer on Leadership Podcast Episode 179: Six Considerations for Holiday Outreach
Google Trends: Anxiety
Pulpit Fiction Podcast
Feasting on the Word Commentaries
Sermon Brainwave Podcast
Pulpit Fiction Podcast Interview with Walter Brueggemann
Next Episode arrives January 1, 2016!
Interview with Rev. Sarah Heath, Teaching/Preaching Site Pastor at Shepherd of the Hills UMC in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
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I think it’s the 4 or 5 podcast you began by speaking about planning the service to be 12-30 minutes. My question is, how do you squeeze a Word from God unto that? Also, do you spend time speaking to God about your sermon plans to ensure that it is a God sent message?
Thanks for the note, Troy! Sorry if there was confusion, but I believe we meant that the sermon would be within that range – not the entire service. For example, most of my sermons fit within 18-24 minutes, with the occasional message or series pushing sermons to 30 minutes. Our entire service runs 60-75 minutes, and as a pastor in a mainline church, we have liturgical elements that fill out the service (even in the modern service – we just don’t call them liturgical). I am sure we are all familiar with folks who preach much longer – closer to 45 minutes – and there are some traditions where the sermons are 10-15 minutes.
My perspective on the difference between those who preach 15 minutes and those who preach 45 minutes are the number of points and illustrations. Those who preach shorter tend to focus on fewer points. Those who preach longer tend to have more main points to make and/or use extended storytelling and more illustrations to try to help their congregation remember all of those points. I’d be curious to know how others have experienced that difference. Of course, at the end of the day, it comes down to your context. Each culture, denomination, and even specific local church have a sweet spot, and it is our job to find it.
And all of my work and recommendations are predicated on prayer first. I think I even say that in one of the episodes. Perhaps I should mention it more and not take it for grated that we are all praying first. But I cannot imagine how you could even approach the pulpit/platform and expect the say what God wants you to say without extensive time asking God for direction first.