Juried Sources for Preaching Preparation
No question about it, the world wide web is a boon to preachers—and perhaps especially to busy preachers on a budget. The challenge is finding sites that serve biblical interpretation, congregational and cultural analysis, and interaction with other preachers—without giving over to canned sermons or other (sometimes expensive) quick fixes. The following annotated list of preaching websites is by no means exhaustive. Yet, it can help earnest preachers sample several available resources and bookmark a few tried and appropriate study resources on their devices—sites in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS as especially deserving of your initial attention.
Tips for Preaching Preparation
Print out the lectionary texts using one of the Catholic or the Revised Common Lectionary sites below.
—Before consulting printed or online Bible commentaries, take contemplative time to encounter the text in prayer and meditation. Lectio Divina is an excellent approach to this step, which can be done either individually or communally. The Lectio Divina website below can introduce you to this ancient contemplative practice of meditating on the Word.
—Once you have prayerfully encountered the Word on your terms, look for web resources that expose you to a range of biblical interpretations of the texts. Resources that offer a social-scientific study of the world behind the biblical texts and resources exploring the social-cultural world where we live in front of the texts can be beneficial.
—Let your web study support and expand your contemplative insights and sense of direction. As you prepare to preach, remember you are not giving a Bible lecture or some stranger's sermon or interpretation of the texts--you are letting the text reveal itself in your pastoral dialogue with your people as Good News and Word of God.
—Be humble, and don't be afraid to talk about complex subjects, and seek feedback from your people so that you can improve as a preacher.
—Remember, too, to keep an eye open for those few printed commentaries or resources that you might want to acquire for your library. More and more resources are being made available in biblical studies. There are also many insightful books on preaching. Some of the best publishers in preaching are Abingdon, Chalice, Eerdmans, Fortress, Liturgical, Westminster John Knox, and Wipf & Stock.
Contact Gregory Heille, O.P.
Aquinas Institute of Theology
23 S. Spring Ave.
St. Louis, Missouri 63108-3323 USA
+1 (314) 256-8881
©2021 by Gregory Heille, O.P.
Assisted by Graduate Assistant Emmanuel Diaz
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