Standard Sermon Disclaimer
These are a sermons. I point that out because there are distinct differences between a sermon which is proclaimed in the context of a worship service and written text. The spoken word has rhythm, inflection, and energy. Sermons are given to a live congregation whose presence and reaction is part of the message. These elements cannot be translated into written words. On those somewhat rare occasions when I endeavor to create a written version of a sermon, (Usually I make only an outline) I always feel like I have left the best parts out, while still straining the bounds of formal English. Thus, I ask you the reader, to please consider the medium and understand that repeated structure, sentence fragments, and the like which have no place in formal writing are a normal part of spoken language. They look and feel awkward only because they are presented here in written form.
Typically, I do not write a sermon at all. I compose it out loud. Speaking through different sections working out not only what to say but how to say it. The last step in my process it to create a more or less complete outline that I take with me to the pulpit. The outline keeps me on track and prevents long rambling sermons. It is usually full of spelling errors, sentense fragements, odd formatting that helps me to say things the way I practiced. Please forgive the mistakes that inevitabally make it through this process.
When I make a written version, I start by copying the outline and trying to fix it to reflect as much as possible what I actaully said, but that is not always easy. I usually leave out large chunks from the outline and just write « story about Grandma » or the like, knowing that it is easier to tell the story in the moment with my eyes on the congregation then to read it off the page.
I also give my sermons at a spesific time and place and to a particular congregation. I usually spend as much time thinking about the people who will hear my sermon as I do about the scripture I’m preaching on. I then preach then in the context of a worship service. This is to say, these words are neither timeless nor are they universally relevent.
In spite of all this, there are still some sermons which are worth holding on to. You can find a list of my sermons here. (Coming Soon!)