Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Rhythm of Preaching (or lack there of)

I am a little distracted this week because I am preaching on Sunday. It is a little odd that I am distracted because I have preached quite a few sermons in 6+ years in ministry. I am distracted because this sermon ends the longest period of not preaching I have experienced since I have been appointed as a full-time pastor. Although I have taught classes and helped to lead a youth camp, I haven't done a full out, in front of the church, sermon since December. So, I am a little off my rhythm.

I have worked through a few different preaching rhythms in my ministry. At my first appointment, I preached occasionally on Sunday mornings and then moved to every Sunday night. Then, I switched to preaching every Sunday night plus once or twice a month on Sunday morning. At my next appointment I preached about every other week which. Once I got into that rhythm, that was fantastic. I usually had two weeks to really dig into the text and live with it to begin to hear and craft the message. When I came to University, I spent my first summer preaching occasionally on Sunday morning and then began preaching every Wednesday evening. It took my a while to get used to a pattern that peaked mid-week but I eventually got the hang of it. Then in December, we made some changes on Wednesday night and I found myself on the preaching sidelines. That has not necessarily been a bad thing. I have had more time for reading and teaching. (Although a lot of that time has gone into a pit of administrative duties.) It is more of a problem of restarting. Preaching more sporadically means instead of being in a mode where I am always thinking and praying about an upcoming sermon, I have to switch into that mode which, so far, isn't especially easy. I truly believe there is a rhythm to the creative and Spirit-filled process of reading in interpreting scripture, listening for God's voice and speaking aloud the power of the Gospel. Currently, I don't have much of a rhythm. Fortunately, God is ultimately in charge of this sort of thing and I do not believe God has lost God's rhythm.

So, if you worship with us on our South Campus, you can see how this all works out this Sunday morning. See you there!


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