- The Bible
- Other Students
- Christian scholars (through commentaries and other resources)
I would also say that in prayer and meditating upon the scripture that God spoke to me, though I want to be honest and say I am neither a perfect listener or a perfect vessel but I felt I got that point across.
It may be slightly fortuitous that I couldn't post straight away after the sermon I preached on the Sunday. It was my assessed sermon for college and unexpectedly it opened some raw emotions. For my entire placement I have had no issues with my Dyspraxia and thinking back over leading and preaching in the past it has come out in the prep stage and in my sermon structure. Yet on that particular Sunday it really came to the fore with missing out several sections of the service. Good job that I have a really lovely church to practice on!
So how to move forward?
My placement church have morning prayer on a Monday where the text for Sunday is read together and discussed, and I think this would be helpful to attend next time too, for instance I think I would have made more of "Stir up Sunday" rather than just "Christ the King" Sunday. I didn't talk it through with my placement supervisor, who knows the congregation and who is a good preacher. I have planned some time with him for the next assessed sermon.
One suggestion has been to work through David Day's Preaching Workbook which I am doing, but I have also found a great resource on itunes university, Preaching Christ in all of Scripture, I think Tim Keller has become a firm favourite, a preacher who inspires me not only to preach better but in my worship of God.
Another reflection has been I have heard loads of sermons via podcast and have decided to be better at filtering, why listen to bad sermons when there are some really good preachers out there to inspire and encourage. I doubt I will ever be a 3 point sermon affectionado, but I need better structuring in planning my sermon so others can follow a metaphor for my current preaching may be the problem of driving a new car and not getting the gear changes right, it clunks which sets people on edge.
Finally and most importantly, God is good and inspite of a fairly average grade for the sermon, a couple of people felt challenged and told me so afterwards, so however great or poor the sermon may seem to us (in spite of the hours spent preparing) God still speaks, whether through an Ass or a Angel.