Rediscovering Jesus, Easter and Preaching. Questioning best practices in gospel transformation for adult learners.


Thank you, RumBloggers, for the birthday wishes.  Thanks especially to the 40-50 of you who came to my Bday! 🙂
I’m taking a break from message rehearsal to ask you a question, now burning in my mind. Please help.
This Sunday, I start a new sermon series “Rediscovering Jesus”, which will lead into “Rediscovering Easter” on April 22 and April 24. I hope you can celebrate Crucifixion Friday and Resurrection Sunday at at local church, like High Park.  Recently, a few people have commended/challenged me to produce written handout/paper outline/notes to aid retention and application of my messages. This has caused me to reflect on my purpose and methods of preaching.  I have been wonder about some best practices of Christian Education for Adults. You could say I am “Rediscovering Preaching”. 🙂
The question on my mind is this: Should I make sermon handouts?  It would be out of my comfort zone because I have never produced written handouts and rarely use power point.  What do you think?  What has been your experience with handouts?  Are you an experienced talk-hearer, pastor, sales person, classroom teacher, coach, politician or another professional communicator?
Trying handouts as a retention/application/discussion tool would be a new thing for me.  My current approach to preaching has been: The Bible is my “notes”.  Jesus is the “mental focal point”.  Application is not a list action steps at the end, but rather a heart-felt change of mind by the Holy Spirit in the moment!  I do not dispense points, I display a person.  I do not push points, I promote a person.  He is the Lord Jesus Christ – Incarnate, Healer, Teacher, Exorcist, Miracle-worker, Crucified, Resurrected, Ascended and Returning.
So should I make handouts to help the rediscovery process?
YES: It could aid people in worshipping Jesus on the spot.  In order to worship, people need to “internalize information”.  It could aid that process in English Language Learners, the visually and hearing impaired, people who process by a pen or doodle to stay awake through my sermons, etc. 🙂  People can use them as discussion starters after church – downstairs over a coffee or at their lunch table after church.
NO: It could distract people from worshipping Jesus on the spot. In order to worship, people need more to happen than simply “internalize information”. This is a quote from Dr. Darryl Dash, about using handouts in preaching:
I am more or less against handouts as a retention/application tool. Generally I think that handouts can distract from what should be happening in the preaching act. (The same can apply to PowerPoint too.) I agree with Keller and Lloyd-Jones that the real key moment in the sermon is when people stop taking notes and begin worshiping Jesus.

Maybe a fuller question is: What type of teaching aids, if any, are helpful for real life change during and after my sermons?

I hope gospel transformation will occur as we all rediscover Easter, Jesus and Preaching together.

Now, back to message rehearsal and decisions about handouts and teaching aids that will help us Rediscover Easter, Jesus and Preaching together between now and April 22/24.

Please comment here then listen to my sermons. Live is best!

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