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How Do You People Write Sermons and Stuff?

January 30, 2021

 

“It can happen anywhere, any time. That’s the thing about songwriting: There’s no fixed hours.” — Keith Richards

Many pastors would say the same thing about writing sermons.

Many of our family and friends who have watched us scribble on a napkin that’s greasy with popcorn butter in a darkened movie theater would agree ideas and inspiration “can happen anywhere, any time.” Like when a character onscreen utters a great line that’s too good to let get away. And yes, this happens when watching tv. Or listening to music. Or seeing a billboard while driving. Or…you get the idea.

Gordon MacKenzie is a consultant who helps corporations understand and appreciate the unseen part of the creative process. One of my favorite lines of his is, “What you don’t see is what you get.” For better or worse, right there is Truth: “What you don’t see is what you get.”

Others have long compared the process to the parts of an iceberg, with only the decidedly smaller being visible above the waterline.

Still others have said it’s like a duck or a swan moving along on a pond: smooth on the surface, but lots of action underneath.

Given all that, what Keith Richards says of songwriting can also be said of sermon writing, in that “It can happen anywhere, any time. That’s the thing: There’s no fixed hours.”

So be understanding of your pastor and her work schedule. Or of his.

And by the way, some of us like to call the entire process of preaching Sermonizing.

There’s more to it than writing a sermon, especially given what the New Testament says. More about that some other time, maybe…let me know if you’re interested in various parts of “the entire process of preaching”…or “Sermonizing.”

Meanwhile, appreciate your pastor and all s/he does in obscurity for you.

 

 

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