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Friday, March 16, 2007

Why My Blog Just Got More Boring

A lot of people have commented that I preach without notes. This is not quite an accurate observation, since the text us usually underlined and marked and cross references and outlines are written anywhere that I can find a space. However, it is true that I do not create an outline or a transcript. It's a weird way to preach, but I've just kind of "fallen" into that form over the years.

Recently, I had the advantage to soak up some wisdom from a man with more ministry experience in his pinky than I have in my whole life. Not knowing my preaching style, but knowing my background, he spoke of a preacher we both knew. This man is a good orator, in fact, his ministry is probably most known for its preaching. This man articulated that the preacher's weakness is that he never kept notes. He stated the problem was two pronged:
    1. High demands
The preacher required, or atleast expected, that others should be able to preach without notes. Since it worked for him, he expected it should work for others. Obviously, success varied with this method, and the wiser gentleman pointed out that short term memory alone may have been what allowed the preacher to abandon notes.

While I have never considered demanding others to preach without notes (in fact, I've wondered whether I should keep the practice), I also made a note about short term memory. I do not want my messages to be relegated to short term memory for the listener, but I defintely want to prevent that for myself. How sad if I labor over a text only to forget it in a short time. I made a note to myself to evaluate whether messages were "sticking" with me.
    2. Lack of permanence
Most sermons have a short shelf life if they only reside in the ears of the listener. By not using notes, this man pointed out that the preacher does not have any work outside of his sermons to show for his labors. There are no commentaries or study guides from this man's life of preaching.

Yikes! That's totally me, I realized. As I left this man's office (with many, many more things to think about), this issue seemed the most practical at the moment. A sermon only reflects a portion of the work a pastor has done in the text, and even then it could quickly fade if not recorded somewhere. I made a determination to start working on building up Joshua on my Commentary blog. To date, I have two posts:

Joshua 11:1-23--a look at God's sovereign electing work even in the era of the conquest.

and Joshua 10:16-43--seeing Christ the victory in the defeat of the five kings.

Neither of these posts are sermon outlines. They are a hybrid of my message, my study and even my reflection after the message. The posts are long and may appear laborious to some. (As always, I highly covet your thoughts about improvements or clarification.) They take me quite a while to produce, yet they are so much more enjoyable that any post I have written for this site.

From here on out, this blog will probably get a lot less attention. But I'm ok with that. I'd rather be known for my work with the Word than my nonsensical ramblings on this site. Quite frankly, you should be quite bored with my thoughts by now (I know I am). I want to hear what He has to say!

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