Wrestling with Flow

There are shortcuts in preaching.  Perhaps some are legitimate, although none spring to mind.  But there is one major shortcut that is very common, but that undermines the whole preaching event.  Failing to wrestle with flow.

It is easy to break a passage into its chunks and preach a sermon from each chunk.  Be sure to wrestle with how the text flows together.  If it is a true unit of thought, then there is unity, but it may take work to be able to understand and communicate it.  How do Proverbs 3:11-12 relate to 3:1-10?  How do the small parts of James 1:2-18 fit together?  Why does Luke 18:7-8 come attached to verses 1-6?  It’s easy to preach two or three sermons welded at the seams, but this is a shortcut that is not worth taking.  Be sure to wrestle with the text more and preach one message – of course it may have 2 parts, 3 movements, or whatever . . . but it needs to be one message.  

So, this week, as we prepare our sermons, let us put on our wrestling gear, enter the arena and give our all to pin down the flow!

One thought on “Wrestling with Flow

  1. You’re right on. I like what I heard from Dr. Sunjukian once, “sometimes we wrestle with the text and the text wins.”
    I’ve struggled lately with I Tim 2:1-7. The thesis seems to be salvation – who to pray for, what salvation is, and the Author of our faith. But right in the middle is this verse about how we should pray for kings and authorities so we can live “quiet lives with all godliness and dignity.” I’ve heard it said our godly actions can be a witness to our governments, but it seems a stretch to include this in a sermon on salvation.
    Any insight would be appreciated.

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