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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