Most Important

How about starting the week with a quote from Pasquarello’s We Speak Because We Have First Been Spoken (p4):

“For this reason, the most important element of sermon preparation is the theological, spiritual and moral formation of the preacher through the Spirit’s empowerments of faith, hope, and love, which are completed by the gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, godliness, and fear of the Lord (Isa.11). Learning the ‘grammar’ of the preaching life requires cultivating habits of the mind, heart, and body – including speaking truthfully – that are intrinsic to the church’s vocation of knowing and worshiping the triune God. If this is true, preaching excellence will be the fruit of listening to God’s prior Word and act before we ourselves presume to speak.  And because the depth and riches of God’s Word are too great to absorb in a lifetime, we will have cause to listen for eternity.”

I’ll basically leave the post there, but it’s worth remembering that this week is not just about preparing this Sunday’s sermon . . . it’s more about the relational investment in response to the work of God in your life as He shapes you into the person, and the preacher, He wants you to be.  Suddenly sermon prep isn’t confined to one box in our schedule!

Preaching and Practice

I know I recently started Darrell Johnson’s book and mentioned that I would review it, but have not had a chance to finish it since.  And I know that I should probably finish that before I start another.  But, well, too late.  I just started into Michael Pasquarello’s We Speak Because We Have First Been Spoken. So far so good.

Here’s a taste:

If we are what we know and love and become what we do and say, our way of speaking will be intrinsic to, and indicative of, what we are and what we hope to be by the grace of God.  And while most preachers will acknowledge the importance of “practicing what you preach,” they give too little attention to the manner in which the character of a preacher’s way of being, the conversation of one’s loves, habits, and desires, is communicated as “preaching what you practice.”

It is vital that we realize that “effective preaching” (a term Pasquarello would probably resist) is built not only on the communication of our words, but more substantially by the communication of our life.  So I am challenged by the relative clarity of not only “practicing what we preach,” but actually “preaching what we practice.”

Worth pondering.