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a diet of preaching – simon mcleay

bible on plate

I’ve just finished preaching through Ezekiel, what a fascinating book to take a journey through. We did it in six weeks, so honestly it was a once over lightly. However, how many preachers would tackle this book today? I suspect that many of us avoid these great tomes because they just seem too difficult to get into; but what a shame. I like the idea of choosing an Old Testament book to take a journey through each year. I know it’s the teacher in me, I know that I have to reckon with the eternal question, “So what?” But let’s not impoverish our people by neglecting a teaching series from time to time. Am I preaching to the choir? My friends I think that we as preachers have a duty to provide a healthy diet across the year – whether we are lectionary based or whether we choose our own themes. I think there are four essential aspects to a year’s preaching. What do you think are the essentials?

A. We’ve got to give some gospel basics over the year – whether it’s a “Why do I believe series?”, or a romp through Galatians. You might decide to punctuate your preaching by having a basic gospel Sunday once a month, or six weeks around Easter.

B. Then I think we need to address the issues of our time. I’m looking at doing a series based on Andy Stanley series called “Take it to the Limit”, a series about building margin into our lives. It’s really interesting to watch and read Andy’s sermons and think how I will represent them. And Yes I’ll say right up front it’s based on Andy’s work.

C. Thirdly some discipleship deepening. I did a one-off on sex and faith, and now some of the blokes and I are doing Valiant Man as a course.

D. But finally I want to argue for some preaching that increases the general biblical literacy of our congregations. If we hadn’t done Ezekiel we wouldn’t have looked at the Exile, we wouldn’t have explored the power of visions, we wouldn’t have talked about “A new heart”, nor the river flowing from the temple, and we wouldn’t have seen the foundation that so much in the New Testament is based on.

Go on friends take a risk and tell yourself today – what unusual Old Testament book will you preach on next year.

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