1. I just returned from the annual Sermon Seminar hosted by Austin Graduate School of Theology. This seminar features presentations by both biblical scholars and ministers. The aim is to give ministers tools for preaching. This year the seminar featured Rodney Ashlock and Mark Hamilton (ACU) and Eddie Sharp (University Avenue Church of Christ, Austin). You can purchase audios here.
By the way, one of the best features of the Sermon Seminar is the wonderful ministers who have gathered together for a few days. There is a great spirit of encouragement present among these people.
2. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my friend Brandon Baker’s blog, Practical Youth Ministry. Brandon is a very thoughtful, reflective thinker and writer. I encourage you to take a look at his blog. It may not be what you might expect.
3. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, every July I spend much time planning messages for the next year. Over the last two weeks, I sent numerous people in our church an e-mail with these three prompts:
- What messages preached or subjects taught have been especially helpful over the past year?
- One subject you wish could be addressed at some point is . . . .
- Consider one issue that affects many families. Perhaps this seems to be something that many Christians remain silent about. That would be the issue of . . . .
The response to these three questions has been incredibly helpful. I read each response closely and often read it several times.
The reason I sent these questions is to get a feel for what a number of people in our church might be thinking. The responses alone do not determine what I will preach next year. However, their voices are important and very clarifying. You might consider doing something like this if you have not. You may formulate questions that are more useful to you. These happened to be the three that I used.