Exploring how collaboration can improve both the sermon and the preacher.
Preaching can be exhilarating; it can also be isolating. Sometimes the ideas flow; other times we stare at blank pages or screens begging to hear from the Lord. Preaching is a high calling; it can also be an lonely calling.
Many preachers long for a few others with whom they might discuss a given week's text or sermon. Many more preachers have no such dialogue partners. However, it's becoming increasingly common to hear churches talk about their "Preaching Team."
For some churches, this means that the various pastoral staff at a church share the preaching responsibilities throughout the year, and talk informally from week-to-week about their sermons. For other churches, there's a team of pastors, leaders, and congregants who meet weekly to study the text together, to prepare sermons together, and to evaluate them after they have been preached. In some churches, only ordained ministers will preach; in others, preaching is seen as a way for both ministers and members of the congregation to use their gifts to edify the church. While there is a tremendous diversity of approaches to collaboration in preaching, what seems clear is the increasing prevalence of the practice.
This website exists to complement doctoral-level research on collaboration and preaching. I hope to explore and discover the many strengths of collaborative approaches to preaching; I also hope that many of the dangers and challenges of such approaches can be identified, explored, and even mitigated. More than this, it is the stated hypothesis of this research that collaboration in the preaching ministry of a church will contribute significantly to the continuing development of the preachers themselves.
Collaboration in preaching is not for every church; it's not appropriate for every church; it's not appropriate for every leader. But where the conditions exist that afford such an opportunity, this research aims to frame some best practices and capture the educational value of a collaborative context while identifying potential pitfalls that can derail the effective preaching of God's Word.