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Sermon Prep in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

How the Trinity is reshaping my preaching.
Sermon Prep in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
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Like many young pastors, I spent my early years of ministry torturing audiences through endless experiments with my preaching. I had been to seminary, listened to hundreds of sermons, read plenty of books, and learned about expository, topical, Christ-centered, and Spirit-empowered preaching. I knew about the need for both study and unction. When I entered the academy, I reiterated these same lessons in my preaching courses. And yet, inwardly, I knew there remained a wide chasm for me between mastering the mechanics of crafting sermons and truly serving as a translator between God and his church. As John Koessler writes in Folly, Grace, and Power, “Those who preach break God’s silence.” Most weeks, I was just trying to make it until next Monday.

The first sermon I preached was at the fledgling church plant I helped launch in a bar. In this context, my preaching moved from the theoretical banter of a classroom to the anxiety-inducing reality of standing before people who ...

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