As most of you, or at least some of you, might know, I dapple in the world of ministry. I recently (meaning only a short few hours ago) had to give a sermon on a text from the gospel of John (4:5-42, if you were curious). Now, I obviously love and enjoy writing and the rush that it gives me.
I’ve heard tell that if one can write, one can preach. That is SO not true! Writing for reading and writing for speaking are two completely different things. Now, one who writes might have a one up on those who don’t, because we know how to plot something out. There’s a beginning that grips, certain moves that are taken, a heightening in action or emotion and then a sweet conclusion to wrap everything up.
Writing a sermon is much like writing a short story–however, I do not write short stories, at least not often (planning on two this next month). I wrote my sermon, I plotted it out like I was writing a short story about this one moment, a moment that changes. The moment when the Spirit enters into our lives and carry us away on the breeze.
Describing a moment in words is one part of this, the other is in voice. If I talk about this moment like a dull school teacher that has no passion for the subject, then the moment will never come. If I talk about the moment with energy and excitement, with joy and praise, then that moment is transferred to those listening, the experience it again. That is the difference in writing a sermon and writing a novel/story. The writing for the sermon is the prep–the reading of it is what makes the sermon a sermon.
If enough of you want, I might post my manuscript for my sermon on here. Not sure if I will though.