God has consistently blessed our church with a steady stream of young men interested in teaching and perhaps pastoring down the road. Knowing that these guys need some experience in order to test the call, we often free up a season in our pulpit to have a bunch of them preach through a series that we design. This year, we felt our church needed a refresher on some of the, “one-anothers” in the New Testament – commands like, Love one another, Encourage one another, etc.
We began by sending out an email to the entire church family inviting any male members to tell us of their interest in what we called, “Preacher School.” We also approached a few brothers privately and encouraged them to sign up. After we had a list of names, we then assigned texts and preaching dates.
We met every Wednesday night after our normal services to do three things. First, I would teach the guys one component of how to craft a sermon. Second, we would critique the sermon of the guy who preached the previous Sunday. Finally, we would listen to the sermon from the brother who was going to preach on the approaching Sunday and follow that up with all the things we found encouraging, plus one or two suggestions for improvement. This would all take about 60 minutes.
The whole process was fun, developed camaraderie amongst these brothers (everybody got applause after the sermon delivery on Wednesday nights – very UnCanadian!) and gave our men some great experiences.
Over the next few weeks I am hoping to post here the basic content of what I taught. My hope is that it will generate further discussion on just how to put a sermon together and help me refine the material for future use. But for today, I have included the “contract” we issued to our men.
What you get:
• Instruction in Bible study and preaching
• Personal accountability with your life as a whole
• The benefit of learning from the success and mistakes of others
• Joy of weekly Christian brotherhood and camaraderie
What you give:
• Meet with the men from 9-10PM each Wednesday night
• Prepare a full manuscript for your sermon, delivered to the pastors 10 days before you preach it to the church
• Preach that sermon to our class on the Wednesday before you preach it to the church
• Receive critique from class on sermon and presentation
• The opportunity to preach your sermon to the church on a Sunday night this summer
• Further encouragement and helpful post-sermon critique
Why you should:
• The Gospel is first proclaimed and the more men who can do that well, the better off the church will be
• You will be challenged in your faith
• You will become a better sermon-listener
• Your Bible study skills will improve