To enhance the flow of worship, a leader should work on acquiring the necessary skills. Of particular importance is learning how to master the timing of worship. Well-planned transitions help the congregation to sense the intended purpose of each act of worship. Included here is a detailed outline of worship designed to go with Isaiah 6:1–8—Isaiah’s encounter with God and the prophet’s subsequent call to ministry.
Christian storytelling is rooted in the ancient Jewish tradition of telling stories. In telling the story, its reality and power are made present to the hearers, so that by entering into the story they experience its significance and power to shape their perspectives and the living out of their own stories of faith.
Storytelling is an art that needs to be developed in today’s churches. Storytellers succeed through using dialogue, developing action and plot, opening up the imagination, and learning how to tell the story well. The following entry is one pastor’s account of the transforming power of story in his own preaching. Its original title, “Spinning Yarns,” suggests the necessity of retaining the first-person perspective because the best stories are our stories—stories told from personal experience.
Preachers can prepare their sermons with respect to the needs of their people by engaging a representative group of people in conversation on Sunday’s text. Guidelines for group preparation and feedback are outlined below.
Preaching through a biblical book, also known as lectio continua (Latin, meaning to read continuously) is presented here from the Reformed perspective as a viable option to preaching through the lectionary or preaching topical sermons.
Since the time of the Protestant Scholastics, sermons have been designed according to a schema: subtilitas intelligendi, subtilitas explicandi, subtilitas applicandi—careful understanding, explication, and application. A text was exegeted, interpreted, and applied in what was often a tri-part sermon.
Progressive-emotive sermons are generally classified either by their relationship to the source material (topical, textual, expository) or by the method of their argument (inductive, deductive, dialogic). The progressive-emotive sermon, however, is defined by its intended impact on the listener.
Life-situational preaching has as its starting point the personal concerns of its audience. It seeks to bring the hearer into the Word of God by making connections between Scripture and the hurts and issues of life.
Contextual preaching declares the Word of God in the context of the social, political, moral, and economic life situations of the listeners. It hears and proclaims the Word for the immediate context of the congregation.
Confessional preaching arises out of the situation of the preacher. It builds on a personal experience, a matter of struggle, a triumph. It thereby connects with the lives of the hearers and draws them into the Word of God for their own situations.