Preach the Word – September/October 2011

Volume 15, Number 1

Key Issue #6: Partnering with Peers

Making more of the encouragement available in the body of Christ as iron sharpens iron among brothers in ministry.

Please Note: the September/October 2011 newsletter incorrectly bears the numbering: Vol. 14 No. 7. The correct numbering is Vol. 15 No. 1.

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As a companion to the September/October 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

Both of the following items were also found in Key Issue 5.

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 Concepts

This is a plan the pastors of one multi-pastor congregation came up with to partner in providing sermon feedback with the pastors of another larger congregation in their area. At the time of this file’s posting, the pastors of the two congregations are in the process of putting to work what this plan describes.

This sermon evaluation pattern was developed by Mission Counselor Ed Schuppe as he worked with mission pastors.

This sermon evaluation pattern was first developed as part of the Preach the Word initiative. It has been slightly modified for use in preaching classes at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.

This sermon evaluation patterns is a shortened version of the longer evaluation form developed as part of the Preach the Word initiative. It is also used in preaching classes at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary when the goal is to provide not quite as much feedback at one time.

Partnering with Peers: Proclaim Grace! Key Issue #6

If you are stuck wrestling with a sermon text and it is getting the better of you, this article suggests that the solution may be closer than you think: a brother in the ministry can offer his encouragement and added insights and share in your struggles; and you can do the same for him.

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Pre-Sermon Peer Partnering

All WELS pastors have been rightfully trained to do their own exegesis and text study, but after all that hard work is done, let’s not deny the invaluable benefits of sharing our personal insights with another brother or brothers in the ministry! Take the time to share your discoveries with another brother—be that in person or on-line—because this process will only enrich your understanding of the text and strengthen your ability to expound the depths of God’s Word.

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Post-Sermon Peer Partnering

There are many avenues for eliciting feedback from brothers in the ministry. Pastors can critique each others’ sermon videos at circuit meetings or pair up privately. Some choose to anonymously watch, listen to, or read sermons posted on-line. Others are blessed by having an associate who gives them honest criticism.

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Are We Building Each Other Up?

For post-sermon peer partnering to be beneficial, feedback has to be built on a foundation of friendship, honesty, and love for the Lord. Honest criticism needs to be received with a gracious heart that sees every opportunity, even those that humble us, as a chance to grow in our preaching.

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