Las prácticas de la predicación cristiana

Rudimentos para la proclamación eficaz


2. Preach Convictionally

Chapter 2 - Introduction

Chapter 2 - Collaborator Discussion

Learning Activities

Group Discussion Questions (could be offered as an individual activity as well)

  1. What do you believe preaching is? What do you believe preaching does?
  2. In this chapter, we discussed six temptations that preachers are called to resist: workaholism, celebrity, vanity, arrogance, inauthenticity, and prayerlessness. Which ones are most difficult for you? Why?
  3. Listen to the Sandra Van Opstal sermon clip below. Why do you think it is so easy for preachers to “serve the food” without stopping to eat it or enjoy it?
  1. We emphasized three dialectics (six practices total) in this chapter: aloneness and community, activity and receptivity, and prayer and study. Which ones of these practices come naturally to you? Which are challenging for you? What would have to happen for you to pursue these practices more deliberately?
  2. Watch the Ken Shigematsu sermon clip below. Describe how you interact with the call to keep the Sabbath. What do you believe about the Sabbath theologically? How do you embody what you believe practically? Where do you see strengths in your practice? Where do you see room for growth?
  1. In the section Faithfulness Matters More to God than Success, you read: “Leave the outcomes up to God.” What factors prevent you from entrusting the outcomes of your ministry to God? If you believed this and lived by it, what would change?
  2. Listen to the Conrad Mbewe sermon clip in the player below. Mbewe describes the importance of “fervency” in Christian living. What connections do you see between fervency and preaching convictionally?
  1. What do you believe about the Holy Spirit and preaching? What does it look like to depend on the Spirit as you prepare to preach and when you preach?
  2. Watch the Tara Beth Leach sermon clip below. In this sermon excerpt, Leach exhorts listeners to partner in God’s mission through adopting a God-honoring posture toward those who rejected Jesus and those who are rejected by society. What connections do you see between preaching convictionally and turning toward the outsider?
  1. In his book The Trouble with the Church, Helmut Thielicke describes a crisis of credibility among many preachers along with the perceived gap between preachers and their preaching personas. Thielicke writes:
    “It is not sufficient for us that the preacher is subjectively imbued with the correctness of his conviction and that he is therefore not a conscious hypocrite. (We certainly do not think he is that disreputable.) In order to be able to form a judgment concerning his credibility…we would have to know whether he lives, whether he really ‘exists,’ in the house of the dogmas he proclaims. This means that what the preacher says in the pulpit must have a relationship to what fills the rest of his existence.” 1
    What do you think Thielicke was trying to get at by challenging preachers to live in “the house of the dogmas” they proclaim?

  1. For some people, prayer comes quite naturally, and for others it is quite challenging. We all have room to grow. Describe your habits of prayer. How might you better integrate prayer into the preparation and delivery of the sermon?
  2. Listen to the Rev. Dr. Gardner C. Taylor sermon clip below. In the closing to this sermon, Rev. Dr. Taylor urges listener to “press on” no matter what they are facing. “Today the battle shout. Tomorrow the victor’s song.” What hinders you from pressing on in your calling to Christian ministry? What compels you forward to press on in your journey and your calling?

  1. Helmut Thielike, The Trouble with the Church (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), 5.

Individual Reflection Activity (for preaching journal outside of class or in-class writing activity)

  1. Where do I locate myself in my conviction as a preacher and my convictions concerning preaching (i.e., what it is and does)? What do these insights reveal to me?
  2. If I were to solicit feedback, what would others tell me (or what have they already told me) about my sense of call and my conviction as a preacher?
  3. What would it look like for me to take greater risks (i.e., stretch yourself) in order to preach convictionally so that I can grow in this area?
  4. Name two to three attainable goals that will help you grow in your capacity to preach convictionally. In addition to writing down your goals, explain why you chose these goals.