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Teaching Preaching Teams. Source: CCN seminar, John Ortberg, www.ccnonline.net , Jan. 2002 [email protected] 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

[email protected]

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

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?





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


    [email protected]

    Copy Right John P. Chandler, 2002