A couple of years ago I wrote about the preacher’s cutting room. It is normal to finish a sermon and have material left over, content that was not shared. If we are honest, some of it was not shared because it was not worth sharing, or because it might cause an unnecessary stir. But some material is good material. What to do with it?
1. File it for a future message. This is particularly the case with illustrative material that could be adapted and used at another time. The key here is to have a filing system that will allow you to retrieve it when you need it. The other piece that fits in this category is exegetical notes on the passage that may be useful next time the passage is preached – so of course it is worth compiling and filing a set of exegetical notes (I presume you do this with every passage you study?)
2. Preach a Second Sermon. If the schedule and setting allows it, I am a big fan of the idea of preaching a second sermon on the same text. We so easily move on without taking time for things to sink in, but a second sermon on the same text would allow for reviewing the main content, and for development and reinforcement of application (which often can get short-changed if you do a good job of explaining the text in the first sermon). Churches with a morning and evening service would do well to consider this approach.
3. Have a Q&A or interaction session of some kind. Perhaps a Q&A session, or a smaller group setting for those who want to interact about the sermon. I’ve heard of these kind of things, but wonder how this is not adding another meeting to typically overloaded church schedules.
4. Post Out Takes Online? I wonder if anyone has tried this approach? Using facebook or a blog, it would be easy for a preacher to follow up a message with a handful of sermon pieces that were omitted for the Sunday, but could then provide a venue for people in the church to follow up the sermon and interact with it and with each other online. I like this idea, anyone do something similar and able to share your experience?
5. Podcast the Out Takes? Similar to above, but why not record a few minutes of reflection and get those online within a day or so. This would also allow opportunity to respond to any questions that have been asked (perhaps clarifying something or helping with any misunderstanding that became clear from feedback received).
Any other suggestions? I preached last Sunday and could easily have shared a further 10-15 minutes of material if either an online blog or pod system were in place. I’m really intrigued to know if anyone has experience to share with us . . .