Sunday, October 02, 2005

What to Preach?

I have to prepare two sermons for my class. I think I will direct one only at my fellow students, but the other one I will try to reuse in church.

Usually, when someone preaches, they ask God for guidance and select a passage to preach on based on the needs of the church he is serving. In my case, I am supposed to preach to my fellow seminary students. There are only twelve of us in the class (that is the maximum due to the time required for all of us to preach), and they are my target audience.

On the one hand, it would be easier to select a verse for my church; the needs are familiar to me and broader in scope since we are looking for a pastor. On the other hand, my fellow seminary students should share similar struggles (bonus points for alliteration!).

The idea of regularly preaching the Word of God is both an awesome privilege and an awesome responsibility. I don't think I can preach "do not steal" if I am pirating software, or "do not commit adultery" if I am watching Internet porn. I certain do not want to be like those who opposed Jesus, of whom he declared they "do not practice what they preach."

With my fellow students in mind, I was thinking about the end of 2 Timothy 3 and the beginning of 4. But, I think I'll settle on 1 Timothy 4:15-16 (full chapter text).
15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
We all get to preach twice. The first time, each student gets 12 minutes to preach one verse (or two at most) from a New Testament letter. The second time we each receive 15 minutes to preach any section from the entire Bible. I think the second time I will look for a sermon that I can use at church as well as at school.

1 comment:

  1. Lee:

    Wow, I just did this at the ETP. I was surprised how nervous I was, because as you know I preach regularly at our church.

    To keep it short, I'll just say there is a big difference between preaching at church and preaching in class. I hope thins go well.