Preaching Workshops

Today is noteworthy because this morning marked the completion of a number of meetings of a preachers’ group I have been coordinating. Eight months ago eight of us began meeting together to work through Haddon Robinson’s Expository Preaching in a series of 2-hour workshops. We came from a variety of local churches: Ashbourne Baptist, Grace Church Belper, Derwent Free and Woodlands Evangelical. One of us was a minister of many years’ experience (to keep us on track!), some of us were in training for the ministry, some had had no training whatsoever yet were occasional preachers, and one had no experience or training yet wanted to learn how to do it!

The format was straightforward:

  • I would set some homework for the next session, consisting of some reading from the book and some homework questions to think about.
  • One member of the group would be tasked with preparing to preach a 10-minute sermon. The most experienced preacher preached during the first session, the least experienced at the last session.
  • The session would begin with prayer and the 10-minute sermon, followed by a group critique of the sermon.
  • The remainder of the session was taken up with discussion of the issues that the homework raised.
  • Finally, open prayer for those who were preaching in the month ahead.

Though there are some oddities in Robinson’s approach, we were able to discuss them and draw out the most useful lessons. As a result everyone seems to have benefitted from the fellowship and the commonality of purpose.

I would recommend this kind of approach as an introduction to preaching. As well as helping and refreshing existing preachers, it can also help identify future ones.

Preaching Workshops

2 thoughts on “Preaching Workshops

  1. Chris says:

    This rings a bell – every fourth Sunday we have to have a “do it yourself” service (our Rector has two other charges) and we’ll soon have a vacancy. We’ve had to learn rather rapidly how to deal with preaching, doing it more or less on the job by the “crit lesson” method, with appraisal by our priest and the rest of the (tiny) team. Quite a challenge. I gather you’d recommend this book?

  2. Stephen says:

    Yes I would recommend it. It was required reading for my first year at ETCW. It covers the whole process from choosing the biblical text and understanding what it is saying, right through to delivery (including what to wear!). It is well written and takes you it in around 10 steps.

    Not all the steps are easy. For example, determining what the main idea of a passage is is not as simple as it looks. But if you do not do it you end up with a disconnected collection of thoughts and remarks which are no use to anyone.

    It is worth working through it slowly. I had read the book before we started the workshops but I had missed a lot of points. Much better to do it step at a time and talk with others about it.

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