There’s no ‘I’ in preach

This summer I’m doing an internship at Seacoast Church with Josh Surratt. It’s required for my major at school, and it’s a great privilege to learn from the staff at Seacoast. I’ve decided to spend Wednesdays this summer talking about what I’m learning.

So, here’s the first principle: There’s no “I” in preach.

(Nobody’s actually used that phrase at Seacoast that I’m aware of, so don’t blame them for its lameness.)

Every Monday there’s a message prep meeting at Seacoast where several leaders from various ministries in the church get together to work on the message for Sunday. Rather than having one guy in a room with some commentaries all by himself, they put a few minds together and help shape the outline, phrasing, and illustrations.

I love this because it isn’t just a “creative team” taking a message that’s already written trying to come up with elements to incorporate in the service… it’s actually a group of people who are helping write a message.

If I’m ever in the position to lead a church, I’m definitely going to try to implement this principle. Here are some thoughts on how this might look for me someday:

  1. The person preaching that week will spend time in personal study. Reading the passage, praying for the Spirit’s illumination and direction, reading commentaries, etc.
  2. The person will then write a short exegetical summary of the text. What’s the author communicating in the passage? What’s the outline of the argument/principle in the passage? What are some theological principles revealed in the passage?
  3. This summary will be sent to the other people on the message team. They will spend some time wrestling with the exegesis themselves, and think of different ways to approach and illustrate the content.
  4. We will all meet and discuss the various ideas, brainstorming different outlines for the message and different ways to phrase the major moves of the message.
  5. We will leave the meeting with a well-crafted statement of the main idea of the message, and a general outline.
  6. The person preaching will finish writing the message.

Obviously these are my initial thoughts on how it could work in an ideal world. I’m sure I’ll change and refine this as I process more. I’m aware that it’s unrealistic based on the way your church is set up, but remember, this is my fantasy church.

Regardless of how this looks in your context, get people involved in the message writing process. More heads are better than one. There’s no “I” in preach. Who’s gonna be on your team? Get some girls, too.

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