Bishop Alan suggested it wasn’t necessarily wise or useful to post sermons online.
He also said that if we do, we should shrink the general point of the sermon to an abstract of 150 words or less, and remember that sermons are a live encounter with God – what people remember when they hear it preached it is what is important.
I can see his points, definitely preach to a specific community or congregation, and who am I to argue with a Bishop!… Except that a few thoughts have been niggling at me over the weeks since:
- I can post a sermon on the blog faster than our techie team can edit the recording and post it on the church website, where there is no current way of having a discussion about it among members of the church;
- By blogging it, I can then post the link on Facebook where a large group of my friends are church members. In the past there have been a few occasions where this has provoked further discussion of the an idea. It also opens up the sermon to those who may not have been able attend that particular service but are following say, a sermon series.
- Similarly in the past I’ve had absent colleagues preaching in a sermon series checking up on me to see where I got a ‘story’ or idea to, either to debate a point or before taking it on the next week themselves!
- If anyone else finds a sermon I’ve posted useful, either for their own walk with God, or to inspire them in their own preaching, then that is as it were, a grace-full bonus and up to them, and God. That’s how The Text This Week has built up a following (a resource promoted by our Reader Training/DDO tutor).
So I think I’ve decided that posting sermons is not a complete waste of time. All I need to learn to do is take that little bit of extra time that is required to write an abstract of it – which is probably not an unhealthy exercise for any preacher who wants to check their message is clear!
Oh, and having created original illustration for this post – another of Bishop Alan’s great key points – I better go and photograph the bottle of champagne I used as a sermon illustration for the sermon (see photo) I preached yesterday!