A Note on Preaching
St Wilfrid's we see preaching as part of our worship. And our sermon
series do not try to emulate a Bible commentary, nor do they try to
include every nuance of the text.
don't try to be too strict about preaching times, but a Sunday sermon
is usually somewhere between 20 and 25 minutes long. And we also allow
preachers a certain licence as to how much they conform to the titles
announced up front. For this reason a preacher may diverge from the
previously advertised subject.
vary in length, ranging from whole books of the Bible to portions of
Scripture; big texts; and various topics derived from Scripture. We aim
for a balanced diet, looking to God for leading.
sermon for the first Sunday of the month is generally suited to our
more 'liturgically-relaxed' service, which we feel is also the best
service to invite guests to. For this reason, sermons are not part of a
series. For the most part we look at some of the big texts and Bible
stories that previous generations would have expected at Sunday School.
This usually means something from the Gospels, or a famous story from the Old Testament, with an evangelistic edge. We aim talks lasting 15-20 minutes at these services.
the third Sunday (Holy Communion) we are currently aiming for a more
devotional emphasis. This is, after all, a service primarily for
Christians, when we have the privilege of coming to join God at table
and to 'commune' with him. We may, for instance, take one verse from the
preaching series of the day and apply it in such a way as to show our
privileges, blessings and great riches in Christ. (Again, we are not
strict in following this self-imposed guideline, nor do we get too hung
up on length.)
On all other Sundays (what Anglicans call 'Morning Prayer') the aim of the sermon is simply to expound the text.
do not seek to be political but rather aim at political neutrality
(except where politics seeks to undermine the gospel). Nor do we aim at
entertainment, though we hope we are not dull. Expounding the
unsearchable riches of Christ should never be dull.
sermon is not a lecture, nor is it a commentary. And since we are
preaching Christian sermons, Jesus will ultimately be their main
subject, or never far from the subject. Sermons will generally contain
some application to life that is faithful to the passage of Scripture in
Beyond this we look for the
presence of God to come down on our efforts, that the people of God
would not simply hear the truth but be taken by the hand and led into
it. To that end, and for the conversion of those who come into our
meetings, we humbly ask for your ongoing prayers: in the choice of text;
in the preparation of what we share; and in the delivery too.Soli Deo gloria!