Preaching Series: Part Three (3 Important Considerations)
Bill has provided a helpful clarification concerning when and how to consider potential interruptions to your annual preaching plan. I would concur with everything he mentioned; however, I would like to offer a final suggestion. If we are going to preach an annual preaching plan and desire to only interrupt that plan when we are certain that the Lord is directing us to do so (and that is what both of us are saying), then we need to be certain we’re hearing from the Lord. This holds true both for our plan and for the potential interruption to that plan. Here's a few things I want to emphasize if you're considering changing your plan: 1) Prayer Both Bill and I have stressed the importance of prayer, and we cannot stress this enough. Pray about your preaching plan before you make it, while you’re making it, and after you’ve made it.
2) Fellow Elders I’ve also tried to underscore the value of bring your fellow elders into this process and discern together the needs of the congregation that can and should be addressed from Scripture throughout the year.
3) Know the Tendencies of Your Heart and Mind A final consideration would be to know the tendencies of your own heart and mind, and ensure that you are guarded against acting out of your own sinful nature with respect to the selection of Scripture from which to preach. What I mean by this is that if you tend to lean more towards a “fly by the seat of your pants” mentality, then you need to really need to discipline yourself to prepare an annual preaching plan and only veer from that plan when your fellow elders give you’re the green light to do so. Don’t trust only in yourself to discern when the Lord is directing you to interrupt the plan, because you know you have a tendency to bail on the plan at the first sight of something more interesting to you. Alternatively, if you’re a planner and you tend to lean more towards a legalistic mindset, then you need to guard against making an idol out of your plan, and allow your fellow elders to encourage you to interrupt the plan if the elder board collectively discerns that the congregation needs to be encouraged, challenged, or corrected in an area that is not going to be addressed from the Scripture being covered in your plan.
In closing, both Bill and I are stressing the importance of prayerfully and thoughtfully preparing an annual preaching plan that is informed by the elders’ discernment, considers the spiritual needs of the flock, and is followed closely unless there it is clear that the Lord is leading the elders to consider interruptions.
>>>What are some thoughts you have about changing your preaching plan? What questions do you have? Please leave your feedback and comments below!