Looking Back to Move Forward

This week I am going to share with the TNL Church community that it is necessary to look back in order to move forward. And that Advent presents a great time for engaging this kind of exercise.

With that I mind I started thinking abut the journey I have been on learning to preach and teach.  When I first came to TNL several years ago I thought I knew how to preach.  After all, they were looking for a teaching pastor and I have a doctrine in homiletics (preaching)!  But, as I quiclky learned, there is still a wealth of things I can learn about preaching and teaching.

Since I consider preaching my “craft” I always want to be growing and developing my knowledge and skill.  Here is a timeline or markers of my growth over the past few years:

  • Teaching without a formalized structure.
  • Submitting to a formal sermon structure: Andy Stanley’s “Me.We.God.You.We”
  • Breaking from Stanley’s structure to allow for creativity.
  • Figuring out how I preaching without notes.
  • Collecting several structures from homeliticians (e.g. Lowry’s “Homiletical Plot”) and leveraging them depending on the text.
  • Learning to own and preach from the Gothic Theatre‘s elevated, performance lit, concert stage.
  • Experimenting with 3DM’s “teacher” gift paradigm and adapting it for preaching (Information, Transformation, Integration).
  • Understanding which sermon structure best utilizes my gifts, talents and skill set.

All of this is helping me navigate my way to the next learning station I need to encounter in order to continue my growth and development.

Can you plot the growth in your “craft?”

Where is that trajectory taking you next?


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