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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Inspiration for Preaching (part 2)

I've blogged about being inspired to preach before. But what happens when you don't feel inspired? What do you do when you have a sermon to preach and you don't feel it?

Inspiration is a tricky thing - it literally means to be filled with the spirit - but we often wait for something to drop on us, some wild jump of thought to give us an idea. But what if we cultivated a full spirit? What if we worked at inspiration? I know it seems counterintuitive to say that we should plan our inspiration, but when our job is to preach on a regular basis we need to do something. The alternative is to offer uninspired sermons to our churches.

Some steps for cultivating inspiration that come to mind:
1. Pray. Spend time cleansing your spirit and making room for God to work and inspire.
2. Perceive. Spend time taking in ideas, music, poetry, art, or whatever inspires you. Fill yourself with things that will inspire.
3. Process. Don't try to automatically kick out great work - all yourself time to work through things before you need the results. Don't look for inspiration for Sunday's sermon on Saturday night.
4. Practice. Have a routine where you write your sermon at the same time in the same place every week. Train your body and mind to know that it's time to produce the inspiration that you've been saving up.

How do you find inspiration when it's hiding from you?

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