For almost a year now, I've felt like my preaching has been stuck in a rut. Not from the perspective of content or even effectiveness. I work hard at studying and delivery and feel that I'm effective as a communicator and I've seen God do some powerful work in people's lives in response to my preaching. But my delivery has been stuck in a rut.
I spend hours meticously (spell check couldn't help with this word) making the transition from writing the sermon to being able to preach it. If you've seen my notes, you know the crazy half-manuscript that I create. It takes WAY too much time to get that thing prepared. And while I don't look at my notes that often, I'm still too tied to my notes.
Breaking out of my rut then, means 1) finding a more efficient way to prepare to deliver the message and 2) being way less dependent upon my notes.
During my study leave, I visited Shane Ash's church and was impressed by how he preached with barely any notes. I figured he must be a super-genius or something but he said he simply follows the book by Andy Stanley, Communicating for a Change. He also told me he finalizes how everything fits together on Sunday morning. I'd like to have a message so "in me" that I don't have to work hard at creating an outline but can simply get up before my congregation and speak from the heart.
And after reading another of Andy Stanley's books, Choosing to Cheat, I realized that if I'm going to give enough time to other aspects of pastoral ministry beyond preaching and still have the time and energy to be a good dad to Dawson, I've got to streamline my sermon prep process.
I'm just finishing this book and am planning on following Andy's Me-We-God-You-We outline on May 10th. I'm going to prep my sermon exactly the way he prescribes knowing that as I get more comfortable with a different process and preaching with WAY less notes, I'll adapt what I've learned to fit my own styles.
I take my responsibility of preaching VERY seriously. Please pray for me as I try to grow as a preacher.