The emergence of a sermon is spectacular to me. I love the entire process. Rarely do I get spiritual direction for my message before Saturday. Friday is the day I set aside for Sabbath. Generally I am running around wild with my girls and relaxing. Saturday is the day I focus on developing Sunday’s sermon.
My process is not unlike David gathering stones to chuck at a giant. I’ve learned that trying to use somebody else’s armor doesn’t work for me. I copied and emulated my favorite preachers in the beginning stages of my preaching and it was a train wreck. I have my own sling shot and that’s the delivery I go with.
The brook that David grabbed the rocks out of wasn’t an independent source. Many streams fed it; various areas of water drainage, and of course the rain itself. That is pretty much how I get my messages as well. I have a continuous flow of study that never stops. Added to that flow are the many thoughts I get out of books, sermons, etc. I also have a few friends that I trade points back and forth with that feed the flow as well. I pray continually that the Spirit will open my eyes and that illumination and revelation will lead to understanding.
The hardest thing for me to get is direction. What does God want to say to ConnectPoint? Sometimes I get it quick, other times direction comes late. I love it either way. I appreciate the immediate direction that comes; but also love the anticipation when direction comes late.
Once I get direction, like David, I reach into the flow that is already generated and pull out some messages. These were smooth stones that had been in the river awhile. Generally I have a running list of multiple messages that I’m working on and various other musings. These messages get smoothed out, the rough edges worn down, the needless points taken away, and finally they are ready to be preached.
Like David, I like to have more than one message in my bag. I try to be focused on preaching the one I really feel, and then have other options just in case. I think the reason that David had five rocks in his bag was because there was a chance he would miss. After all, we are all human. If he missed, there was another rock ready to go in his bag. Many times I miss by a mile. The message doesn’t fit for that particular service and so I reach into the bag and pull out another.
Then I’m ready to run, release, and have faith that I’m going to hit my target.