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Teaching Preaching Teams. Source: CCN seminar, John Ortberg, www.ccnonline.net , Jan. 2002 John.chandler@vbmb.org. Major Issues Impacting Preaching and Congregational Life. Pastoral exhaustion Abbreviated tenure Succession issues Vulnerability of the pastor as a human being

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Teaching preaching teams

Teaching Preaching Teams

Source: CCN seminar, John Ortberg, www.ccnonline.net , Jan. 2002


Major issues impacting preaching and congregational life

Major Issues Impacting Preaching and Congregational Life

  • Pastoral exhaustion

  • Abbreviated tenure

  • Succession issues

  • Vulnerability of the pastor as a human being

  • Subjection of the congregation to an unbalanced diet

How to address

How to address?

  • By making preaching a less solitary and individualistic enterprise

    • Bring to bear the gifts of the whole body of Christ on the preaching event

      • Not just worship or congregational life

Out of the cubicle

Out of the cubicle!

  • “Modern” preaching as a solitary enterprise

  • “Postmodern” preaching as from community to community

Encouraging community preaching

Encouraging Community Preaching

  • Preaching “teams” …

    • Utilize spiritual gifts of knowledge, wisdom, teaching

    • Take advantage of life experience, expertise, and research focus

    • Create “recognition” in preparers and credibility in hearers

3 ways to teach preaching teams

3 Ways to Teach Preaching Teams

  • 1. Classroom

    • Low-structure before and during meetings

    • Intentional half- or whole-day events in church life

3 ways to teach preaching teams1

3 Ways to Teach Preaching Teams

  • 2. Coaching

    • Utilizes principles from other settings and customizes

    • Can be high-structure engineered or spontaneous-organic

    • Seminars (attend, import, host)

    • Retreats

3 ways to teach preaching teams2

3 Ways to Teach Preaching Teams

  • 3. Mentoring

    • Relationship-based

    • Ebbs and flows based on teachability and intensity of situation

A jump start tip

A Jump-Start Tip …

  • Most churches have a “ringer” (potential) preacher

    • Spend early bulk of time with this individual

    • Their progress will model the way for others to follow

Teaching preaching teams

Then …

  • Think in terms of planning 6-12 months worth of preaching

    • Connected to congregational mission

    • Series generally 2-5 weeks

    • Allows for depth in research

    • Avoids Monday a.m. panic

Where to begin in forming a team

Where to begin in forming a team

  • Collect 3-6 sharp, articulate thinkers, readers, and speakers from the congregation.

    • Don’t neglect introverts!

Where to begin

Where to begin

2. Convene a half-day brainstorming event.

  • Pre-orient participants

  • Ask each to bring 2-3 general series ideas connected to perceived personal, community, or congregational needs

Where to begin1

Where to begin

  • Pick and parse the can’t miss series.

    • File the (not yet ripe) “good ideas”

Where to begin2

Where to begin

4. Assign series research to invested persons.

  • Keep material collection folders on each series

  • And perhaps a single sermon to protégés

1 start by developing the whole series

Once you get to a single series …

1. Start by developing the whole series.

  • Plan start dates and publicize titles/texts to allow invitation opportunities for attenders.

    • Hint: start a series on Easter

    • Provides avenue for congregation input and a planning window for inviting and attending

    • Asks: “what would you like to hear preached?”

2 clarify the big idea of the message

Then, once you get to the individual sermon …

2. Clarify the big idea of the message.

  • Craddock: “No one has a right to points who does not have a point.”

    • … which is why preaching is always immersed in prayer!

  • Focus: what it says

  • Function: what it does

Focus on beginning and endings

Focus on beginning and endings.

  • Sermon introduction not an attention grabber, but overture

    • Answers the question, “Why is it urgently important to talk about what we’re about to talk about?”

    • What are costs/benefits re: topic?

  • Pay more attention to the conclusion than the intro!

    • End with, “Where is Jesus in all of this?”

3 do the research

3. Do the research.

  • Part of “loving the Lord your God with all your mind.”

  • Collect research from team

    • They have been looking out for ideas since the retreat

    • Ask especially for metaphors and stories

4 types of research needed

4 Types of Research Needed

  • 1. Research the text

    • God’s will

  • 2. Research life

    • culture, local and global

  • 3. Research myself(as a Christian)

    • What is God doing in my life now?

      • Caution: don’t let the sermon function as personal therapy

4 types of research needed1

4 Types of Research Needed

4. Research your congregation.

  • What’s everyone here talking about?

  • What sins do folk here struggle with?

  • How will different people here hear this message? (age, life situation, journey)

    • Pick 5

  • What are people’s longings and hopes?

  • Where does the church need to go & how will this message help?





Teaching preaching teams

The Preaching Diamond

  • Is this what God is calling me to preach?

  • What’s my relationship with this church?

  • How does our church engage its local culture?

  • In what ways can our culture be redeemed?

  • Is God present in our congregation?

  • How am I engaged within our culture?











4 begin writing moves

4. Begin writing “moves.”

  • Balance your own “research or speaking” preference

  • Identify the structure I’m going to teach on (“moves”)

    • Not “points” but flow and end of story

      • Reading short stories

    • What objections would I face at each turn of the sermon?

  • Understand behavior change happens through example, not exhortation

    • And not through “ought, must, and should”

Telling stories that connect

Telling stories that connect

  • Include ample (1/3) dialogue within any story

    • The drama is in the story details

    • “the best story tellers turn ears into eyes”

  • Tell the story (active voice) instead of telling about the story (passive)

    • Use the character’s voice instead of the reporter’s voice

    • Capitalizes on our love of eavesdropping and overhearing

  • Make no character > 97% good or evil

    • believability issues

  • 5 hack the baby down to size

    5. Hack the baby down to size!

    • Editing feels like amputation!

    • Don’t fall to temptation to use superfluous stories simply because they’re good stories

      • Save for later; you’ll need it!

    • Imagine what it would look like for people to follow the message, and include only material that will contribute toward that end

    6 structure and practice delivery

    6. Structure and practice delivery.

    • Use the mirror and the woods

    • “Let’s go to the videotape.”

      • Best way to get rid of invisible annoying habits

    • Single biggest delivery problem: lack of energy, passion

    Assessing delivery

    Assessing delivery

    • S.H.A.P.E.S.

      • Simplicity – clear about the point

      • Humor – finesse and indirection

      • Authenticity – preaching to myself

      • Passion – emotional intensity, courage

      • Energy -- urgency

      • Spontaneity – sensitivity to H.S., jazz

    7 make room for evaluation

    7. Make room for evaluation.

    • Watch game film

      • The issue is not gainingbut keeping the hearer

      • Mistake: “louder is not profounder”

    • Utilize your team and ask them to respond with discernment, honesty, and love

      • Address research, structure, delivery

    The criteria for assessing effective preaching

    The criteria for assessing effective preaching …

    • 1. What do people now understand?

      • mind

  • 2. What do people now do as a result of this message?

    • will

  • 3. What do people now feel?

    • heart (… the most difficult)

  • The goal

    The Goal

    • “Our goal is not to get people all the way through the Bible, but to get the Bible all the way through the people.”

      • Good preaching transforms people who transform people

    Teaching preaching teams1

    Teaching Preaching Teams

    Dr. John P. Chandler

    The Ray and Ann Spence Network for Congregational Leadership



    Copy Right John P. Chandler, 2002

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