Well, I did it!
I created a 15 minute sermon after a bit of judicious pruning. Could I have said more? Probably. Should I have said more? Probably not. What I delivered I think worked but I suspect it was a very different style of sermon from usual. Hard to say since I’ve only heard David a couple of times and that’s too little information to ‘categorise’ someone.
I’ve been thinking a bit of what my ‘style’ is. Not sure if I really have one but what drives me is twofold (and that in a cycle of interconnectedness) – theologically-sound exegesis and biblically-sound application. I like to explore the meaning of a passage: its genre; its context; its history; its culture; its ‘story’. I then try and relate that to our present circumstance and draw out a lesson for us to follow. This means that I tend to spend more time on what might be considered the academic side (the exegesis) than on the anecdotal (the application). I struggle with anecdotes. Some people work them in naturally, with others it can sound horribly contrived. I dislike looking for an anecdote that ‘fits’. Generally because they’ve probably already done the rounds on the internet and, for me, lose their impact. That doesn’t mean I don’t use them, but only sparingly and only when they really fit. The other thing is that I tend to use only personal ones (for the same reason as above) but my wife complains that that I’m then turning the attention on myself. It’s a fair criticism even it that’s not my intention.
All this means that there is a risk of my preaching style being a bit ‘dry’ and ‘academic’. To a degree that’s a reflection of ‘me’ – it’s what I like to hear. But not all the time and that, I suppose, is where a balance has to be struck. That’s when I enjoy doing the ‘powerpoint thing’ and throwing in the odd video or sound clip – because there are others who do the inspirational, uplifting, thoughtful ‘thing’ so much better than I do.
Hmmm…. maybe 15 minutes of my style is more than enough.