Thursday, January 29, 2009

Iron Sharpening Iron

I was down in Newcastle for a few days at the Northern Ireland Ministry Assembly's first Preaching Conference. The main speaker was Edward Lobb, Director of the Cornhill Training Course in Scotland, organised by Proclamation Trust. In the main sessions, Edward took us through Letting the Word do the Work; Placing the Text in its Context; The Heart of Romans; and Sermon Preparation. Each was brilliant, with lots to think about as we return home to our parishes and ministries. Sadly, there was no recording of these sessions.

However, the main reason we were gathered was for the small group workshops. In these, a group of 8 people (maybe more in others) tackled a book to preach on. The seminars running were 2 Timothy, Ruth and Revelation. Each person was allocated a passage in advance with some homework - to prepare to preach on the passage, and present the Theme of the passage, the Aim of the sermon, and then an Outline of the sermon. These groups were most helpful, with positive feedback and constructive criticism on the outlines presented, as well as the opportunity to hear the ideas and thoughts of others on the passage.

As we worked together, it was a case of iron sharpening iron for the task at hand. Hopefully another preaching conference will be organised next year to build up our preaching, and also provide encouragement to stick at the hard work of sermon preparation.

Edward also preached at St Elizabeth's on Sunday night. You can hear him on the St Elizabeth's sermon blog.

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