Volume 18, Number 3.
In this issue, Pastor Tom Westra encourages pastors who feel they are done with the “Honeymoon” phase of ministry and offers advice on sermon introductions.
When the Honeymoon Is Over
When you are discouraged in your task of preaching, when the fruits of faith in your congregation seem woefully lacking, when you feel the weight of your own guilt, turn again to the beautiful picture of the bride, of what Christ has declared us to be, of what we will be when he returns and brings all things to fulfillment.
Ever hear the beginning of a new pastorate described as the honeymoon? Remember what that was like…when you first arrived at your congregation?The idea, as you know, is that both pastor and congregation at the start are somewhat clueless as to the other’s faults The congregation, which quite frankly had grown a little weary of the last guy, believes that they finally have called the “perfect pastor” . . . .
Improve Preaching with Better Introductions
The introduction must not only grab people’s attention; it must also lead people to the main proposition. It puts a map in the listener’s hands and says, “This is where we are going this morning. Follow me.”
One of the most common criticisms I hear of preaching is, “I couldn’t follow the sermon.” Or “I didn’t know where the preacher was going.” Preaching sermons that people can follow starts, I think, with us knowing where we are going—distilling the text to one main proposition, answering the “so what” question, and knowing how we are going to get this point across in the sermon.