One down, two to go

This little stint of pulpit supply has offered me a more interesting reflective opportunity than I first thought it would. As previously mentioned, I’m ‘optimising my time’ by using the same service in three different places (albeit with some revision of hymns and sermon duration).

The first one was delivered today and I wasn’t entirely happy with it. Too long, to overstuffed with information and didn’t flow very well. The main issue was that I now have a very different theology to my home church and I felt I needed to explain and ‘justify’ some of what I was saying and proposing, so there was more padding than absolutely necessary. But such is the main pitfall of one-off services. I feel the need to cram too much in rather than just delivering something that’s to the point but ‘lightweight’ (in my opinion). Today’s sermon should really have been delivered over no fewer than four or five sermons. Which says (to me) that it was the wrong sermon for the occasion.

When I got home I decided to ‘polish it’ from the thoughts I had as I was preaching. It now flows better but is still too long (certainly for next week). But then next week’s pulpit supply is the lectionary-following place, so some of the background will already be there. Mind you, I still need to sort out their dodgy theology (not really, just poking fun – a little). It means that I need to whittle down the sermon and can probably remove some of the explanatory padding. It’ll be interesting to see how that one ends up and how much, if anything, is ‘lost’ because of that.

The third one will be similar to today, albeit with the more polished version. Again though, I’ll be curious to see how it changes in the two week gap.

One thing I did notice today was that my voice is out of condition, not having been used very much for a couple of months. Too much time spent typing and not enough time chatting with real people. Unfortunately, until the dissertation is done, I can’t do much about that. I’ll maybe need to put some music on and start singing along.

3 responses to “One down, two to go”

  1. Ahem? Dodgy theology – it just means you wont have to explain all your own new found liberal tendancies! have fun! Oh and by the way there is a methodist youth group (about 17 from chandler ford methodist church in Southhampton) in staying in the hall on a cycle ride from John O groats to Lands End on saturday and I think they are coming to the service! All arranged when I’ve been away – hope it doesnt change things for you too much?!?!?! They are from a welcoming and inclusive church as well. I know you will cope swimmingly!

  2. Perhaps the Lord has specific things He wants to say to each congregation, so you are led to customise your sermon for each of them. It is good that you have this opportunity to refresh your preaching gifts before starting your next placement. Enjoy!

  3. @Stewart,

    Indeed, and I guess that’s why I never feel entirely comfortable preaching from the same sermon. I generally feel ‘led’ to making changes (as I’ll no doubt do on this occasion as well).


    Liberal!! A scurrilous accusation. Neo-orthodoxy is the only true path to salvation. 😉

    btw – you need to update your pulpit supply notes document so that it actually reflects what happens in your church.

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