At our recent Tasmanian Clergy Conference (4 – 6 November 2009), our guest speaker Bishop Paul Barnett presented excellent “Studies in First Peter” and also his notes on Sermon Preparation. I have his permission to share them with you. Firstly, his introductory comment on Christian ministry:
Paul to Timothy (in times of hardship for both) 1 Timothy 4:12-13
Set the believers an example (‘typos’-Greek) in
Devote yourself to
- the reading
- the encouragement
- the teaching
so that all may see your progress
Ten point checklist for sermon preparation and delivery (we all need good methods)
Tuesday – Wednesday (3 hours)
- Reset the text line by line (by hand or computer – www.biblegateway.com)
See if there is a natural structure (see e.g., on 1 Peter 3:7)
- Context: work out how the text follows from what was written before
In letters look out for connectors (‘For’, ‘Therefore’, etc.)
Ask: how does my passage relate to what comes next?
- Identify items in the passage you don’t understand. Check a commentary
- How does this passage relate to the known situation of the original readers?
- Ask yourself: what is the BIG idea in the passage?
Wednesday – Thursday (3 hours)
- How does the teaching of the passage fit in overall with Christian theology?
- What will my sermon outline be (based on its BIG idea)?
- Lord, give me (a) some good illustrations, and (b) a helpful application.
Friday (2 hours)
- Type up the sermon text
- Reduce it to a 1 page outline, practice that and preach from that (for eye contact)
Preach the BIG idea from your summary. Give the people good things to take home
D disciplined in preparation
Helpful to create a computer folder for each passage with files for
- template outline
- sermon text
- one page outline
- ideas for illustrations.
From Studies in First Peter by Bishop Paul Barnett.