Preach the Word – July/August 2011

Volume 14, Number 6

Key Issue #5: Partnering With the Pew

Making more of the encouragement available in the body of Christ as we train and equip lay men and women to be fuller partners in preaching.

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As a companion to the July/August 2011 issue of Preach the Word, we offer these resources for further study by individuals, study groups, or circuits:

Study Aids

In response to a request from a pastoral circuit, Pastor Daron Lindemann and the author are partnering to put together a set of application and discussion questions to accompany each issue of Preach the Word. We hope this added resource can help both individual pastors, as well as study groups or circuits, to gain even more from each edition of the newsletter.

Book Reviews

Reuel Howe’s book seeks to help pastors strengthen their partnership with the pew before, during, and after the preaching of the sermon.

This brief excerpt from Howe’s book, Partners in Preaching, shares an idea for building a post-sermon discussion group.

Lowell Erdahl’s booklet covers all the dimensions of sermon evaluation including self-evaluation, evaluation by spouse and members of the flock, and the evaluation that can come by working with ministry peers.

Helpful Bible Studies

This file contains a Bible study (and leader’s guide) put together by Pastor Darrell Zimmerman (Pastor of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Brentwood, MO – LCMS) as partial fulfillment of a doctor of ministry degree from Concordia, St. Louis.

This Power Point was used by Pastor David Clark (Grace Ev. Lutheran Church, Glendale, AZ – WELS) to walk his Bible class through the process of how a particular sermon was put together.

Drawing on his own study, as well as the work of Pastor Zimmerman and Pastor Clark, Professor Rich Gurgel used the materials in these files to lead a Bible class on preaching. The Bible class was presented where Prof. Gurgel serves as pulpit assistant (Mt. Lebanon Ev. Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, WI – WELS).

Partnering with the Pew: Proclaim Grace! Key Issue #5

Good preaching requires not only careful speaking, but also careful listening—careful listening to the Biblical text and careful listening to the the needs of our hearers—so that our sermons make an explicit connection between God’s Word and the daily lives of God’s people. One useful way of achieving this goal is by seeking our hearers’ input—before, during, and after the sermon.

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Overcoming Barriers to this Partnership

There are two initial roadblocks that need to be overcome if preachers and listeners are to form an effective partnership that fosters mutual understanding and input. First, your partners in the congregation need to be trained (by you!) as to what makes a good, textual, law/gospel, explication/application sermon so that they can give you quality feedback. Secondly, if we, as preachers, are to improve in effectively communicating the truths of God’s Word to our unique set of listeners, we need to put aside our sinful pride and accept their constructive criticism.

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Homilia et Homiliae: Using Pre-sermon Feed-in

It is essential that every sermon applies the power of the gospel to the real struggles of God’s people, but how can we know exactly where our listeners need their Savior’s encouragement most, if we don’t share the reality of their daily lives? Before our sermon is ever written, we can benefit greatly from our listeners’ perspective on how this text cuts, heals, and directs them in their Christian living. This article suggests many ways we can elicit pre-sermon input so that our Sunday sermon application is directly on target.

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The Conversation Continues: Post Sermon Feedback

Post-sermon feedback is crucial because so often the message that is preached does not match the message that is heard and taken out the church door. Read this article for many practical suggestions on how to garner post-sermon feedback from groups and individuals both formally and informally.

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