Sunday, November 14, 2010

Preparing a sermon-swedish style!

by Carl Mattias

Hi everyone!

This week two good things happened!
1. We got finally got some snow here in Minnesota!
2. I got to prepare a sermon for one of my classes!

As I mentioned earlier we don't get too much practical or confessional things at seminary in Sweden, (see my post "my impressions so far! (part 2)").

This means we don't get to learn very much about how preach and how to prepare a sermon. Exegetics in Sweden is mostly about how to write an interpretation and/or an academic paper. We do however have one class in preaching, but since it's a confessional thing the teachers had to merge it with rhetorics and communication. Since then I've had one additional non-credit class where I got to prepare a sermon. Sure we've had some opportunities to learn more about preaching, but not to actually prepare a sermon.

I'm very passionate about preaching! For me preaching and prepairing a sermon is something much bigger than me. It is the Holy Spirit working through me and in me throughout the preparation and during the preaching. Thats why I used to say that a sermon is not done until it has been preached!

When it come to the process of preparing a sermon I'm a big fan of Expository preaching. In short it is a form of preaching that that explains in detail the meaning of a text/passage in the bible. The reason I like this form of preaching is that it is not about what I have to say, but what the texts have to say. Or as Paul would say "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2 Tim 3:16). The main purpose of expository preaching as I would see it, is not only explaining what the text have to say, but also to teach and give the congregation the tools necessary to read and understand the bible themselves. Especially in Sweden since most Swedes don't tend to know very much about the bible and rarely reads it (I don't know what it's like here in the US though).
That being said I have nothing against topical preaching, something I also think is very important since it gives an opportunity to raise important topics in the congregation that sometimes is very much needed.

It was very interesting to share my sermon with my classmates in class this week and see how others, from a different context prepare their sermons! I do have to admit, however, that Expository preaching is something thats is very rare in Sweden (it's unheard of in the Church of Sweden) something I hope to change when I enter my ministry in Sweden!


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