Friday, May 8, 2009

Mead: Preacher’s Block and What If You’re Not Ready?

Peter Mead over at Biblical Preaching has a couple of related posts recently that I found helpful.  image

The first one is on Preacher’s Block.

1. Take a Break

2. Talk It Through

3. Preach It Through

4. Confess, repent and press on.

He has good suggestions under each one, but under “Preach It Through” I found this helpful:

Most people leave running through their message much too late.  It can be a very helpful practice, once you have the passage studied and the main idea somewhat clear, to stand and deliver.  You probably won’t want people listening in at this stage, but you will often find it really helpful for you.  After all, the preparation process is supposed to culminate in oral communication.  Too often we trudge slowly through written preparation when our goal is not to write a book, but to speak a message.  Sometimes you will preach it through and then write down some helpful thoughts (phrases that worked well, transitions that communicated effectively, etc.)  Always you will find out where you are unclear and where further study, further work, further prayer and further thought are needed.  Preaching it through is not exactly a short-cut, but it can be a major tool for focusing and fine-tuning your preparation.

I know that in running through a message God always opens up new ideas.  Why do we wait so late to do so?  Find the post here.

The second Post is the one for today.  “What If You’re Not Ready?” is the question he asks. He is not advocating sloth, but recognizing that some texts just take more time to break apart. Peter’s suggestion: “If you’re not ready, don’t preach it.  Instead preach an old message again that you are confident is biblically sound.”

That said, Peter gives several caveats, and one of them really struck me:

Recognize that as a Bible student we never fully plumb the depths of any passage and as a preacher we shouldn’t really present all the plumbs either!  It takes wisdom to know the difference between “I’ll never fully plumb this passage” and “I haven’t grasped the fundamental unity and flow of thought in this passage.

You can find this post here.Thanks Peter, for your consistently sound advice.

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