Are you finding the quotes I’m sharing from Preaching That Matters by Dr. Lori Carrell helpful? I know I am! Here’s another short section to whet your appetite as we wait for word from her publishers that the book is now available.
Predictability may be comfortable for you and a subset of listeners, but using the same shape for sermons every week does an injustice to the richness of the text and the diversity among your parishioners. Though the content all comes from the same (vast!) collection of scripture, your texts are different in shape, sound, and content. And importantly, your listeners are also incredibly diverse—in cognitive styles, learning preferences, cultural backgrounds, relational circumstances, spiritual journey stages, life experiences, ages, and an endless list of other variables. Using a variety of sermon shapes over time can help you address listener differences and keep you grounded in your text. Such variety honors the diversity that is inherent in sermon communication. Larry Samovar and Edwin McDaniel, authors of Public Speaking in a Multicultural Society remind us:
[Our] experiences have taught us to string ideas together in a manner that, while familiar to us, is not universal. … It would be easy to assume that everyone in the world organizes their thoughts in the same manner, but this is simply not the case.
Some preachers say, “I’m not creative” or “My listeners will complain if I make a change,” while others continue to resist any change that takes them away from their expectations for exposition. However, a primary reason that pastors organize sermon content in the same way week after week is a lack of knowledge about other options.
Sunday’s coming. Do you have your sermon ready? Is it relevant? Will it effectively motivate your congregation to walk more in step with the Master? What about that Sermon Series you’ve been thinking about?
Or, if you’re someone who plans well ahead, have you asked yourself what you will preach for your Easter Sermon, your Advent Sermon, your Christmas Sermon?
David Mains and Mainstay Ministries can help. We offer a wide variety of Sermon Starters and Full Sermons that will give you Sermon Ideas to help you prepare for regular Saturday or Sunday sermons, Mid-week Bible Sermons, and Sermons for special occasions.
We also offer assistance as you create Topical Sermons, Sermons Series, and sermons for special times of the year. We have resources available to help you with Advent Celebrations, Advent Sermons, Christmas Sermons, Easter Sunday Sermons, Patriotic Sermons, and more.
For more information on how to create better Bible Sermons and how to turn Sermon Ideas into Sermon Outlines, and then into effective, meaningful Sunday Sermons, please click here to visit David Mains’ website.
You will also find a variety of resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries website. Just click here.