On the Power of Reading
So I read this book last week: Small Preaching. It was pretty good, though not excellent. I’ve read better, but I’ve read much worse, too. Nevertheless, this little book has had a profound effect on the life of our church. Let me explain.
I finished the book last Saturday evening. One of the issues the author talks about is the importance of cutting the fluff in your sermon. The preacher should whittle his sermon down to its most basic parts. Make it shorter. Say it more succinctly. Chop off the parts you don’t need. As I read that on Saturday night, I realized then that I had a lot of work to do on Sunday morning. I had a lot of fluff to cut. The changes I made weren’t drastic, but the shape of my sermon was different because of what I read in Small Preaching. That’s one change.
Another change was the sermon selection for this Sunday. The author encourages preachers to preach the “Cultural Calendar”: Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, etc. Since becoming a preacher, I have not done this. I’ve stuck to a specific topic or book. Well, the author persuaded me that, sometimes, it’s important to preach the cultural calendar. Hence, this morning’s sermon, which falls on Father’s Day, is on fatherhood, not on Ecclesiastes.
I share these experiences to encourage you to read. Read the Bible. Read other books. Read as much as you can. Who knows what type of changes might come to your life by reading. If you are ever looking for helpful book recommendations, I would love to visit with you. God-speed on your reading!