Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A week in my life Day 4

On Wednesday mornings, I usually prepare a sermon for Sunday morning. I wouldn't want to prepare weeks or even months in advance as Jay Adams suggests we should. To me, that would rob preaching of its immediacy. But I couldn't leave preparation until Saturday evening either. My brain would melt under the pressure. I'm preaching through John's Gospel on Sunday mornings and I hope to preach on 6:37-47 this Sunday. I tend to work out a rough outline that arises from my own reflection on the text and then consult the commentaries. Don Carson's is the most helpful, followed by Leon Morris. Hendriksen is worth a look as of course is John Calvin, especially on this passage. I find that consulting more than 4 commentaries for sermon prep does my head in anyway. That done, I develop the outline until I have about A4 pages of handwritten notes. That's the sermon on paper. But how it will work out in the pulpit, I can never tell. I preach extemporary, but writing the basic sermon helps me to think through the meaning and application of the text & hopefully gives the message some structure. Sermon prep until lunch.
After lunch my friend Tim Serjeant of the Door to Door Mission pops in for a chat & time of prayer. He's been doing outreach with our churches a day a month for around a year. He is usually accompanied by a deacon from Ebenezer in the morning and Penknap in the afternoon. Some promising contacts have been made. But spiritual apathy is widespread.
Visit unwell Church member. She's on the mend. Nice time of fellowship. Home. Finish preparation for tonight's Prayer Meeting. Write a letter to accompany three month prayer diary. Printer plays up. Oh dear!
Prayer meeting at Ebenezer. Focus on mission. We had several encouraging updates from societies and organisations we support: Barnabas Fund, Grace Baptist Mission, Wycliffe Bible Translators, London City Mission etc. Good to hear of what the Lord is doing in the UK and overseas. Some good feedback from today's door-to-door outreach. A few people seemed really open to the gospel. Had e-mail from a chap who edits a local newsletter & received our literature this morning. Wants to put info about Ebenezer in the paper. Nice to have some encouragements like that. Oh that our area would be really captivated by the gospel!

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