Wednesday, January 18, 2006

How to write a sermon...

It's an interesting thing to reflect how those of us who preach come to the point of working out what we're going to say.

I look ahead to mine quite a long way in advance. I read the readings and let them marinade with each other for a long time. I have already started looking at my sermons for Sunday morning of 5th February and Sunday evening of 12th February. These will be for two rather different groups. The morning will include a large group of girls visiting from our local boarding school for girls as well as people of all ages numbering around 200 or so in total. The evening one will be for a much smaller group of no more than 20 made up mostly of people aged over 50.

This even I am in the mulling over stage for both of them. I am letting the readings settle with me and working out not "what am I going to say?" but rather "what am I NOT going to say?"

For one of them, which I have already been pondering for a while I am even at the point of working out the shape of what I am going to say; what is my main theme? Where do I start so that I get there and very importantly how do I finish?

Now I tend to vary how I ponder these things. I always make sure I have the readings wiht me or at least in my mind as I'm wandering and, as the Christmas song goes, "I wonder as I wander". I tend to chat about the passages with people (me being an extrovert I guess) and reflect on them during slightly more idle moments. This evening I might well be mulling it over in the bath. Tomorrow the mulling process will continue...

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