Thursday, July 21, 2011

Say what? so what? now what?

I can't remember who was actually telling me about this the other day (it may have been Tom), or even what they were specifically saying about it... But I think this is how I might write my sermons from now on: Say what? So What? Now what?

Say what?
I would begin by presenting the text, story, or idea from the bible. What is it saying, what does it mean, and so on.

So what?
Then, in light of what it says... So what does it mean? What difference does it make to me/us? Why does it matter? How does this effect me/our church/our world?

Now what?
Now that I know this, what am I going to do about it, or what are we going to do about it?

Certainly there would be occasions where this would be sufficient for the entire message. Though sometimes the 'say what? so what? now what?' could be very brief, and one part or the other could take the bulk of the time to deal with. For instance, I would think the "Now what?" part might need more attention in most instances - pointers, ideas, or suggestions on how to carry out what we know. Perhaps other times it might require more insight into the meaning of the text. And so on...

So... that's what I was thinking about today. Not that I've really needed it lately. I've been on a sermon-writing break for the past couple months. At some point I'm going to need to get back into it though. If I can remember how...


JAH said...

Sounds like a good plan...I'll be looking forward to it.

dan horwedel said...

I'll probably forget by the time I preach a sermon again. :)