Along the same lines as the subject of yesterday’s post, how do we find true liberty in our preaching? This is Phillips Brooks in his 1877 Lectures on Preaching:
In the desire to make a sermon seem free and spontaneous there is a prevalent dislike to giving it its necessary formal structure and organism. . . . True liberty in writing comes by law, and the more thoroughly the outlines of your work are laid out, the more freely your work will flow, like an unwasted stream between its well-built banks.
I’d prefer to use terms like order and structure rather than law, but the point is well made. It’s a common thought that non-preparation will allow the freedom of a flowing message. In reality the result is likely to be higher levels of incoherence, blabbering, circling, and stress. The more work we put in to structuring and planning the sermon, the more freedom we have during delivery to adjust if necessary, and to flow freely. Let’s seek to be unwasted streams of well-prepared communication of God’s Word.