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Beyond Infosermons

On March 28, 1992, my journal entry reads, "My seminary notes, along with ten years of sermon tapes, are sitting in the dumpster at Glengary Elementary School."

At the time, the decision seemed radical. All night I considered driving back to the dumpster and retrieving my deposit, but I never did.

What prompted such unusual behavior? Was I renouncing my ministry, my preaching, my seminary education? Not at all. I had struggled with the decision for several weeks. An imminent move from Nashville, Tennessee, to a pastorate in Honolulu, Hawaii, which pressured me to get rid of excess baggage, had brought me face to face with how in recent years my preaching had changed.

In my early years of ministry, my preaching was strong on principles, ideas, information. I encouraged listeners to take notes. But as the years passed, I concluded that effective preaching is not ultimately about points, outlines, and information as much as about helping people make contact with God.

Today I don't care if people ...

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From Issue:Winter 1994: Preaching
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