Praying & Planning to Prepare PreachersAugust 27, 2007
On Friday I sent out 26 letters to young and middle-aged men. Following months of prayer and planning, I had written with the purpose of inviting these men to a preaching course in the New Year.
For some time now, our pastoral team has shared a burden to better train prospective preachers. But now we’re ready to act upon our convictions. I wanted to share some of the key emphasises of the course, both for your prayers and any input you might have.
1. The course will simply be a primer in preaching. Thus it will be fortnightly and only 8 sessions long. One goal of the course then, will be to teach some of the rudimentary elements of preaching.
2. The pre-eminent goal of the course is to assess whether the course-attenders in fact posses a preaching gift. If so, this course will be but a first step in developing their skills; otherwise, it will be a helpful confirmation that this is not how God is calling them to serve.
3. There will be theoretical and practical elements. There will be some essential instruction from the front but also practical involvement from the group. For example, over the course each attendee will gradually prepare a sermon on a short passage and at the end of the course will deliver this in a real church setting (complete with evaluation). I’m writing out to other churches for this very purpose.
4. There will be an emphasis in the course upon the character, devotional life, and work-ethic of the preacher, as opposed to merely the mechanics of sermon preparation.
5. There will be exposure to more experienced preachers. This certainly is one of the main ways I have learned how to preach: by watching, listening and imbibing the faithful ministry of older expositors. For this reason, the Senior pastor of my church will be involved regularly in the course and other experienced pastors who can answer questions and give advice.