For our second preaching lab of this year, we were given 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 to preach on. Our time was limited to 12 minutes, which is always difficult to try and preach a text faithfully – but particularly for this text, it was quite difficult because the text simply states the gospel according to Paul. I had to spend time reading through Corinthians to get context for why he was sharing the gospel, and what purpose or outcome he wanted to see based on the Corinthians hearing the gospel. Click below to view a copy of my sermon.Full Sermon
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. – 1 Corinthians 15:1-8
- I tried to include way too much content for the amount of time I had to preach.
- I didn’t need to use the Luke 24 reference (unless I had tied the fact that the first thing that Jesus speaks about upon his resurrection was the necessity of his resurrection).
- As for how to preach, I should illustrate first, then give a generalization. I was doing it the other way around.
- My adoption connection at the end doesn’t fit with the point of the text. I could have used the same illustration, but tied my doubt / fear to not remembering that I have a heavenly home and will too be resurrected someday.
- I still have a ton of room to grow in my actual preaching skill – being able to convince my audience that what I have to say is important. What am I trying to convince them of?
What I Learned
Aside from listening to the great feedback I got from my pastors, what I learned personally was again that preaching is not primarily communicating information (which is my normal mode), but it is communicating information in order to convince. When you preach, you are saying to your audience, “this is the very word of God”. What it says is vital, relevant, and you need to hear what it says and act upon what was said. That I big element missing from my preaching style, because I primarily communicate not through convincing but through conveying info and asking questions. That’s part of why I discovered that I enjoy teaching.
I mentioned this in another post, but going forward I am going to try to incorporate aspects of teaching into my preaching.
- One step towards for my next preaching lab is to prepare much more (through studying, praying over the text, etc.) in advance so that I’m more comfortable with the text we’re preaching from.
- Another is to pray for more confidence in my personality / preaching style, and try to simply relax as I preach. Our pastors have told us that it takes at least 100 sermons to find our “preaching voice”, so this is just a step towards that.