Monday, October 08, 2007
Little Mary at "We Do It Too" has asked people to share their sermon preparation process. I enjoyed reading everyone's processes, even though I was somewhat shamed by many of them. I decided to post my comment here.
Here is my process.
Monday (or thereabouts) read through the text (I usually spend some time early in a season deciding in advance which texts I'll preach... right now I have a worksheet that takes me through Christ the King). Open up my NIB. Read the Harper Collins study notes (I'm going to be better about that, now that I've read here about pasting them into an outline...!).
But, really, the phone is ringing, I'm going into the sanctuary with the sexton to talk about the placement of the baptismal font, I'm talking to the sewing circle about their latest project... so this might not happen on Monday. Or Tuesday.
I look at The Text This Week to see if any articles there catch my eye. (My favorite link lately is Daniel Clendinin, The Journey With Jesus).
Then I let it all simmer on the back burner. I write as soon as something occurs to me... whatever my "way in" to the text has turned out to be. Once I start, I try to refocus myself periodically by asking, "What's your point, Homer?" (Said like Moe).
I sometimes (this is the truth) set myself the task of dreaming about the text. If I can't find a way in, I read the text before bed and ponder. Often in the morning I've made a connection of some kind that allows me to begin writing.
I like other peoples' processes better.
I forgot to mention translation work. That's because I have this obsessive all or nothing relationship to it. I either must translate the entire passage myself or I have no time or energy for it. (Usually the latter). When I translate I have great fun. Occasionally... only occasionally... does it make a huge difference in what I will say.
This was fun.