For those who read my blog, one bonus is that you often get a preview of what might be coming down the pipe as far as sermons go at MainStreet. I’m a deep processor and require time to chew on ideas and try them out before I preach on them. Daily Illumination often becomes a forum where I’ll share some ideas and biblical gleanings from my own personal study.
This also means that what comes out on this blog is not a finished product, but rather some half-baked ideas I’m still sorting through. So, think of DI as more of a journal than a newspaper.
Every pastor has their own routine for preparing sermons. Some spend 20 hours in their study, pouring over commentaries, reading the Greek or Hebrew, and preparing elaborate outlines or manuscripts. Others draw largely from others’ research and study, using preaching outlines, ready-made illustrations, finding sermons online or following a curriculum of sorts.
Most of us are somewhere between.
I am only beginning to figure out my own sermon preparation routine. Each week is different. Somethings are working better than others. Trial and error — a lot of error. But I am closer to the first person above, and my sermons are largely the original product of my own personal study of the Word. Simply put: I’m a student at heart, and I would go crazy if I didn’t spend a good chunk of my time each week anchored in the Word. It feeds my soul. My personal study of the Word – with its epiphanies, aha moments, wrestling with difficult texts, the agony of boiling a text with one hundred lessons down to 2 or 3 — all of this gives me fuel to do all the other tasks of leadership and ministry.
I’m excited about the new series we begin this week. It will allow us to focus on a few things I believe are necessary at this point for a brand new church:
1. While John 3 focused us on how to become a Christian, John 4 will explore how we can become more active disciples and committed disciples.
2. I believe it is essential for us to stay focused on Jesus at this point. I love the OT, the epistles, and more, but MainStreet will always be first and foremost a community centered around following Jesus.
3. One of the core values of MainStreet is mobilizing believers to live out their faith beyond the walls of the church — “in the marketplace daily with all who happen to be there” (Acts 17:17). This series turns our eyes toward the mission as we travel with Jesus out into some uncomfortable territory.
So, I hope you join us for this study in the weeks ahead. And we’ll see if I find some time to share some thoughts by way of the blog.