I read Pastor Steven Furtick's blog often. Although I've never met him, his words challenge me, make me think deeply. Since my blog title is "Excavations," and this blog of his is about excavating of a sort, I thought I'd post it here. Good stuff deserves reposting, right?
Stephen King (yes, that Stephen King) says that for him, stories are not created things. They are found things. He compares them to fossils in the ground. His job as a writer isn’t about making a story from scratch. It’s about excavating a story that’s already there.
Is that true for a fiction writer? I don’t know.
Is it weird to make an application about my sermon preparation process based on something I read in Stephen King’s memoir? Yes.
But the concept really resonated with me.
I hear other preachers talk about writing sermons, and the way they say it throws me.
I have never really written a sermon. It’s not like that. The phrase preparing a message doesn’t sum up the process in my experience, either.
To me, the work of sermon preparation is most closely akin to unearthing. I’m not approaching the Bible trying to find Scriptures to substantiate a message that I’ve created. I’m approaching the living Word of God to uncover a Word from God from the Word of God. (Read that sentence again.)
The message is already there. The Word is already powerful. My job is to dig it out.
And God has given me tools to lift it out very carefully--to keep it intact--so that the Spirit of God can make it come alive in the hearts of everyone who hears.