Here is provocation to prioritise preach preparation:
“I heard a rabbi say not long ago that Christian pastors have ruined the life of a rabbi. Because a rabbi is a scholar and preacher. But Christian pastors are social workers and therapists and budget managers and now he says people in his synagogue expect him to do those things…preachers need to decide what the main tasks are and practice enormous self discipline about not being drawn away to do other things that do not properly belong to the ministry of word and sacrament….many preachers finally get around to their sermons in their fatigue from everything else and if imagination is the key to good preaching you cannot be imaginative if you are exhausted. It has to do with ordering ones priorities for the sake of ones best energy. For many preachers that means really deciding that this is the main task and if you want a congregation to have missional energy and all of that and preaching is the pivot point of all of it. If a pastor decides that then the pastor is going to make more time for reading and prayer… ” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5nPlPMDDQ0&feature=related
No none is obligated to preach a great sermon. But everyone is obligated to grapple with great ideas. If we do that then once in a while we might preach great sermons…preaching carries with it a divine obligation for preparation inclusive of mind, heat spirit environment, struggle, sacrifice, service… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXBNAoVtDtQ&feature=related
Piper learned to preach:
1) by watching his dad
2) by watching how not to do it
3) Being unable to speak in front of a group for many years through pain, discouragement and hurt.
4) “The courses I took on preaching were marginally [helpful]”. He got low grades in seminary.
5) By being passionately thrilled about what he read in the bible and feeling “I want to say this to somebody… I find it hard to leave the bible and find an illustration because everything here is just blowing me away! And it’s that sense of being blown away by what’s here, by the God that’s here, the Christ that’s here, the gospel that’s here, the Spirit that’s here, the life that’s here, being blown away by this, that’s got to get out….then how it gets out…that’s just the way I am wired…”.
6) “a thousand things go into your life. nobody can copy anybody else. “
7) “I don’t think there is much you can do to be preacher except know your bible and be unbelievably excited about what’s there and love people a lot and want to make the connection with people.”
“a good sermon in oriented to scriptures and oriented to people in the pew.”
A great preacher: