It has been a fruitful week despite suffering headaches, some nausea and dizziness for a few days. Someone told me that "there's a bug going around" ... which is reason for praise as for me it has been on and off and no fever and major aches (which this person said will come). So three days already and I am pretty ok.
I am now ahead of time in my preparation for my next two sermons... YES!!! Got the outlines done etc for 26th April and 10 May :-) And tomorrow I will be away for the whole day for my first NZ preaching seminar cum forum - organized by Langham Partnership NZ (the NZ branch of John Sottt's Langham UK based organization) and Carey Graduate School. Looking forward to a good learning experience as the focus is
1. to encourage a biblical preaching that is rooted in this Aotearoa-NZ context
2. to probe the question faced by preachers in Aotearoa-NZ today and resource them with answers
3. to gather together both experienced and emerging preachers and make space for the synergies to flow.
4. to explore the possibilities for an ongoing focus of some king on Kiwi-made preaching
My chosen workshops out of 25!! OOhhh. so hard to choose as each session there are five workshops running concurrently and sometimes I want to attend two of the five! :-(
1. How can the baton of biblical preaching be passed on to young people?
2. With application, how does the preacher get beyond spoon feeding the text and enable a wrestling with the text?
3. How can being visual in the sermon include something more than using the data projector?
4. Must every single sermon from the Bible fins its way to Jesus?
5. How do we resolve the distinction between what they think they want and what we think we need?
I have been here over 2 years now and been preaching here for about 2 years now (since I was not preaching for the first few months) and it has been both a relief and an encouragement that I have had a lot of very positive feedback about my sermons and preaching.... from all sections of the church congregation.
But there is so much more to understand about the NZ context and so much more "continuing education" needed not just in terms of cultural issues and the new generation of Christians but also biblical issues. Perhaps I should consider taking a few formal classes next year? *shudder* not something I want to do again as 3 earned degrees has wiped out my enthusiasm for formal studies.
Nah, let me stick to reading and trying to find a small ministry support group. :-)
I am working for 2010 on forming a small group of people within my church who will work with me in helping me prepare my sermons. Sermon co-collaborators.:-) Will be tough to implement but something I think would be great in the long run for all of us and the church as well.