We continue a series of posts called Preaching Proverbs for Planters. I’ve tapped several church planters to give one piece of advice to those of us who are, or will be, preaching in church planting contexts.
Your message will find the “sweet spot” with your neighbors when you prepare around them. When I first learned to preach I wrote sermons for the culture I came from. Planters need to preach to the culture they are sent to, which is why I prepare my sermons where they hang out. It’s been remarkably helpful for me to consider what I will say in my sermon as I sit in the presence of those I hope will come and listen.
Find a cafe, diner, or a public park, and settle in to the work of writing your sermon. Listen to the sounds. Watch the people. Join the conversations. Ask them questions pertinent to your message. What are they talking about and concerned about? How do they treat each other? How do they treat their kids? What does your community think about life, marriage, parenting, friendships, future hopes, current issues, and more?
By joining their flow-of-life in these “third places,” your sermons will begin to write themselves by entering those conversations (passively or actively). The gospel for all will start to get aimed more specifically and become the gospel for them.
What do you think? Do you hole up in a quiet study or library to write your sermons? Do you consider it an interruption when a conversation starts at a coffee shop while you’re in “sermon prep mode”? Leave a comment or question for Steve below.
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