Preachers can learn some positive lessons, as well as some cautionary tales, from stand- up comedians.
Passion for Preaching is a blog by different writing about a range of topics related to preaching. Many of the writers are participants in the Peer Groups or the Coaching Program, but other voices are welcome as well. If you would like to submit a 500-800 word essay to be considered for the blog, please email .
I recognized the Light of God shining in the darkest hour of human suffering; and through the wailing cries of grief and silent tears of sorrow, I felt the Presence of God standing in solidarity with those who mourned.
I knew I was called to preach the “Good News,” and my knees began to shake. I had Shaky Knees! “Would I be a good ambassador for Jesus? Would I accurately interpret the Word of God, so that others might know and feel the freedom of God’s offering through Jesus Christ?”
I have come to realize that if the structure isn’t well designed, the sermon is hard to memorize and less understandable for its hearers.
As we know, the Psalter is a collection of praises, laments, thanksgivings and wisdom; all of life’s stations are located somewhere within its one hundred and fifty entries. They speak to us through their metaphorical nature because we have all experienced their underlying truths.
Faith is not blind sentimentality. Faith is not settled complacency. Faith is not resolute luxury. Faith is future-oriented hope.
I am inspired knowing that for every way that I may mess up a sermon, God will let something real come to the surface. I say this not to dismiss formation and
development, but rather to highlight that we, as ministers must take seriously the call to be better, for the world and for the people, but mostly for God.
Pastors must let the Church’s deepest theological and ethical commitments guide what political talk they need to bring into their sermons—e.g., concerns for the most vulnerable in society, for peace with justice, for the equality of all human beings as God’s children, for the stewardship of God’s creation, for love of neighbor and enemy.
We are called and commissioned; sent forward to continue what Jesus began. What would otherwise seem like an ending is actually the beginning of something new.
Metaphor is a powerful tool for whittling difficult ideas down to size. By comparing what we do not understand with what we do understand, an apt metaphor can help us reach out and touch what feels distant, make familiar what was once obscure, give life to what seems dead, and give color to what was faded.