As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the good news. – Romans 10:15b
Hello, hello, hello! And welcome to the Spark Preaching blog, where I intend to reflect, both as eloquently and plainly as I can, about the craft of Christian proclamation. I’ve been preaching weekly for the majority of my 25-year tenure as a pastor under appointment in the United Methodist Church. So, I get how tough and how blessed this task is. And I truly understand how many partners we need, both in the parish and beyond, to help us do an effective job in our craft.
I use the word “us” quite intentionally. For me, a sermon is not a manuscript; it isn’t a deposit of some sort of content; a sermon is an event, a happening, a communicative act between a preacher and her people. So, a sermon is not something that I do, or that one does; a sermon requires both a preacher (in whom the Holy Spirit is at work) and hearers (in whom the Holy Spirit is at work), and, sometimes, the boundaries between whom is listening and whom is hearing blur. As Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, now Bandy Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology, cautioned us in our first intro classes in the M.Div program: “We do not preach TO anyone; we always preach WITH…”
Preaching good news about Jesus Christ is a partnership, a collaboration. I am tremendously grateful for all of the partners that I have had over these decades. And I am very excited about the prospect of being YOUR partner as you seek to preach with your people. Over the next few blog posts I will share some of my own journey to this place and begin to outline some assumptions that I bring to the pulpit.
Please ask questions! If I can be of help, let me know in the comments or connect with my Facebook page and Twitter feeds. Let me know how I can be of best service to you, partners.