Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Preach Better with Wonder!

Reading time: two minutes. You don’t add wonder to the sermon; you add wonder to the preacher. It’s not too late for a miniature sized Advent retreat. If you can find a half day to get away, that’s ideal, but even a half morning or afternoon, or a half hour sometime this week could make a big difference. This is one of those seasons where the temptation to overfunctioning is strong. With extra worship responsibilities and the competing loyalties of church and home, it’s hard to be at our best. Counterintuitively, sometimes the best approach to a hectic season where there’s not enough time for everything is to do nothing. Here’s a couple of thoughts for preparing the heart and mind fo a great Advent/Christmas season of preaching. The sermon is never quite “done.” It’s rare to step in the pulpit, especially when the sermons come so fast and furious, and feel that you and the text are absolutely prepared the best you can possibly be. So work hard, prayerfully, at preparing the sermon text, then take a break to prepare yourself. Add some wonder to the season of wonder. Block out some time away by yourself with the scriptures, a notepad and a prayerful, open heart. Tell the church secretary that it’s sermon prep and you can’t be disturbed. Even though it might more accurately be called preacher prep, it really  the same thing. Get to your favorite quiet place. Open the Bible to Luke 2, Matthew 1 or Galatians 4. Then settle in with a prayer for wonder. Read slowly. Pause at your favorite spot. Pause at an unlikely spot. What do you notice. Watch for amazement. It’s laced throughout the whole story. Be amazed. Make a note or two about wonder. What would it take to carry the wonder of these quiet


moments with the Savior into the pulpit with you? And when the time comes, climb into the pulpit remembering that there are many of us praying for you this holy season. May the joy and wonder of the Savior’s birth and his promise to return fill you, fill your messages and fill the hearts of those who hear this December and always! Thanks for reading. Are you interested in helping bring a Grace Place Wellness Retreat to your region?  We’d love to hear from you.  Contact Darrell Zimmerman  today to begin exploring the possibilities.  Let’s have a conversation about bringing our Church Worker Retreat to your area soon!