Monday, July 25, 2011

Preaching from the whole Bible

Does it matter to you if you preach from the whole of Scripture?  Should it matter?  If you preach in a tradition that emphasizes the lectionary in worship, the congregation should at least hear most of the Bible read to them every three years in worship.  Even so, there is no guarantee you preach from each portion of the scriptures.  If you are from a more free church tradition then there is a good chance that portions of scripture go completely untouched in corporate worship over the course of a congregation's life.

I've been preaching at Southland now for five years, so I decided to do an inventory of the sermons I've preached here.  I preach from the New Testament 73% of the time, from the Old Testament 27% of the time.  Over a forth of my sermons are from the gospels, Luke being my apparent favorite.  I've preached from the third gospel twice as often as any of the others.  I've spent over three months of those five years in the book of Acts.  The rest of my NT sermons are fairly evenly split between the Pauline epistles and the rest of the NT cannon.  In the OT I've spent a lot of time in Psalms.  This inventory revealed that there are 20 OT and 5 NT books I've never preached a sermon on here at Southland.  11 of those I've covered in Wednesday evening Bible Study, but that is a much smaller crowd.

I will certainly take these numbers into consideration as I plan my sermons in the future.  Do any of you keep statistics like this?  What about keeping topical statistics (Like how many sermons on forgiveness, discipleship, loneliness, etc.)?  I could see where that might be helpful.  I'd love to have your input on your record keeping and how that record planning influences your planning.

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