A First Time for Everything
I’ve waxed (in)eloquently about how yuck last week was for me and my family. It was an accomplish nothing, feel bad week. Yet as all preachers know, Sunday is going to come right on schedule whether we are ready for it or not. This week, I really wasn’t all that ready. It isn’t that I didn’t think about the sermon for today. I thought about it quite a lot, particularly in the wee hours of the morning when I was sleepless due to my coughing or that of one of the kids. I had a good idea and a general organizational pattern in mind. The problem is that I couldn’t find the time to get it in writing. Either I had one of the kids calling me or I felt too darn bad myself to get it done. So last night I did a pitiful cut and paste of old sermons and borrowed ideas. I could have gotten by with it, but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted.
This morning I reviewed the manuscript several times before worship, each time trying to convince myself of its merit. I couldn’t do it. So when I stepped up to the pulpit to read the scripture and begin my sermon I took a deep breath, pushed my manuscript aside, and preached those middle of the night thoughts that had captivated me all week. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I knew that if I faltered, if I lost my train of thought, if I ran out of things to say, then I had nothing to fall back on. Preaching without a net – what a rush! Quite frankly, I enjoyed it!
I wonder if anyone noticed a difference. The only person I checked in with about overall impressions – along with a confession of what I had done – was Rosemary. She said she liked it. Believe me, she wouldn’t hesitate to tell me if she didn’t!
I’m not sure when (or if) I will try it again, but somethings tells me I might. What about you? What is your preaching method?