Sunday was our Wytheville District Discipleship Day and Bishop Swanson had a session of “Crafting the Sermon.” All I can say is wow, I gained enough wisdom to chew on and work out in my life for the next year. Here are the tweets I sent out while the Bishop spoke.
“Be a lifelong student of preaching, you will never conquer it.” Bishop Swanson
“Work hard at making your sermon one that people want to listen to.” “I mean if you fall asleep when you preach!” Bishop Swanson
“The messenger (you) is an integral part of the message” “How you present yourself.” Bishop Swanson
“A lot of United Methodists lack motivation. You’re not having a pep rally on Sunday Morning” You need to be motivated.Bishop Swanson
“I believe that every person wants to walk away from worship saying “God showed up.” Bishop Swanson
“People who come to us as preachers are not coming to hear what we have to say, they’re coming to hear what God has to say.” Bishop Swanson
“You need to listen to the moans and groans of your people” Bishop Swanson
One of the greatest things I gained was his statement about people coming to the pastor to hear what God has to say. I hope you understand what I am saying but this allows the pastor not to feel like we have to play God and fix everything. I am not someone who can fix every problem that a person has. People really do want to hear what God has to say about life in general and about their situation inparticular and sometimes they just need help in finding what God has to say.
Bishop Swanson is working on a book about Preaching and I can’t wait to read it.