By Jon Keisling
Last Sunday I preached a sermon titled “The King’s Account” from Luke 1:1-4, and I noted that this would be the first sermon of a series through Luke. Indeed, I’m currently working on a sermon for the coming Lord’s day on the next section of Luke’s gospel: “The King’s Herald”, Luke 1:5-25. But before I get too far down the road in preaching through Luke’s gospel, I wanted to let you know where we’re heading regarding preaching and why.
It is my understanding that for the past few years, a group of elders and church leaders have tag-teamed preaching such that, for a given sermon series, several brothers would contribute sermons. For this series through Luke, though, I will be preaching all the sermons, and Will and Gami will preach a coinciding series through various Psalms. Chad and Don will both continue to preach occasionally as well, while Paul has opted to take a break from regular preaching for now.
This is a slight change from the team preaching that has gone on in sermon series in past years. The reason for this change is that, for now, I thought it would be beneficial for my growth as a preacher to be committed to learning a book inside and out and preach through all of it as a series. Since I will be preaching the bulk of the sermons, this also seemed most comfortable for me. As of now, this is not a permanent change in stated practice.
What you should know is that regardless of who is preaching, I’m committed to excellence in preaching through clarity and fidelity to the “faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
Schedule for Quarter 1
With that, here is the schedule for Quarter 1 of this year:
You may be looking at this list and wondering who Deepak Reju is. Deepak is one of my former pastors at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, and more importantly, the father of one of our members: Zack Reju! This actually wasn’t my doing. Early last summer, Deepak had arranged with Chad and Paul to come preach to us on the 28th.
Lord willing, we will not just hear from Luke and the Psalms this year. I hope to break up the Luke series with a series through 1 Peter in the Spring and a series through Ruth in the Summer, series that I will be owning as well. Then, we’ll pick Luke back up in the Fall.
How to Use this Schedule
I’m putting out this schedule so that you can have an idea of what we’ll be doing this year, but I’m also putting it out to inform your quiet times. A good practice to take up is to read the text that will be preached on the coming Sunday during your daily quiet times (devotions, prayer time, whatever you call it). I’ve found this acts like a meat tenderizer for my heart, sensitizing it to the word. It also helps me to listen to the sermon more intelligibly.
When the sermon text is being read beforehand, it’s good for the hearers, but it’s also better for me, the preacher. It’s good for me to preach to people who have been marinating in the passage throughout the week (meat references are in today, I guess). It will help you to intelligently answer the question: “Where did the preacher get that from?” If you can answer that question, I am far less likely to pull the wool over your eyes and teach false doctrine.
Your reading of the passage not only protects the church, but it also helps to enrich my sermons. I like to get questions on the text throughout the week from people reading the passage. You may have questions about the passage that I don’t have, and if I’m alerted to those questions, I’ll know to answer them during my sermons. And you’re welcome to send me more than just questions! Send me reflections. Send me ways the passage has encouraged you this week. Tell me about how the text is convicting you. Tell me how you’re applying it. If the word of God that I’m about to preach is doing anything in your heart, I want to hear about it! All of these things will help me preach better sermons.
Regardless of who is in the pulpit, the preaching of the word is a corporate act. The preacher works hard to preach (1 Tim 4:16). The hearers work hard to understand (Deut 4:1-14). The Spirit applies the word to our hearts, and His word reverberates throughout the room and throughout our lives during the week (2 Tim 2:2; 1 Pet 1:10-12).