We all have our unique interests. One of mine is curricula. I love looking at the curricula of Bible schools, or helping to think through new possibilities for Bible schools (perhaps adding a second year to a one year program, etc.) So perhaps it is only me that would enjoy the last of the chapters in Explosive Preaching, where the author describes the one-year curriculum he helped to design for a house-church movement in China. The radical design is worth sharing, not only for those who share my fascination with things academic, but for all of us as a good nudge in our level of preparation for preaching. Here’s the 66:33:1 curriculum:
66 – Each student, by the end of the year, has to be ready to preach (without notes) a one-hour sermon on each of the 66 books of the Bible. This sermon is to include an outline of the content of the book, and contemporary application to the individual, the church and the nation of China. At the end of the year, 3 books would be selected at random, then the student has five seconds to launch into their message.
33 – Each student had to prepare 33 one-hour sermons on the life and work of Christ, each based on a single verse (only 10 allowed from outside the gospels). His whole ministry must be covered, from pre-existence to second coming (although I’d suggest His ministry extends beyond the second coming!) Interestingly, students are allowed one page of notes per sermon in this category!
1 – Each student has to prepare an “end-of time” sermon – any length (since time constraints are irrelevant in eternity). The goal is to help the student consider the whole salvation story from God’s point of view. Perhaps at the great feast we will get to enjoy such a sermon looking back over it all . . . but would we be ready to give the sermon?
So there it is. A creative and probably very effective curriculum. If you had one year to train a preacher, what would you include?