Peter Scazzero

preaching skill

The Life Cycle of the Sermon

Most sermons follow a similar pattern: birth, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.

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What advice would you give to other preachers about this life cycle?

As long as preachers are willing to enter the process of life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, as long as they're willing to let the word pass through their life first, and as long as they're willing to suffer to bring a word from God, they'll do fine. My word to fellow preachers is, "Relax. You're not crazy. This is the normal process. No one is exempt—at least with sermons that transform lives." If I'm listening to someone else preach, I can always tell if they've surrendered to this process. I often say to myself when listening to a great message, I know they paid a price to get the sermon to this place. And I'm in awe of the work of God. I know they didn't just get up there and wing it. I appreciate their labor of love—all the death and burial they've put into the sermon. And I'm very, very grateful.

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"Peter Scazzero is the founder and senior pastor of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York, and author of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (Thomas Nelson)."

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Rosalie Kwak

February 04, 2013  4:42pm

You're right Pete, It is easy to think you are crazy as you enter the "death" phase. Afraid that even all you've discovered and thought you've gained will be lost and is for naught. and then somehow God finds the gold in the dirt and shows it to you. I appreciate very much how you have articulated this process and gave examples from your own sermon journey. I find all of your thoughts helpful. Thank-you!

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Chris Woodall

February 04, 2013  12:53pm

I am a lay speaker and will always remember this great article because it hits home with me so much. Thanks

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Judy Bangsund

February 04, 2013  12:00pm

Thank you for this timely article (Monday morning). Just what I needed to hear -- a gift from God. Your analysis hit a home run. It is useful, not only in looking back (and letting go) but also in giving me a clearer picture of the process of sermon-making. I think it will be helpful to many preachers as we go through this agonizing but also thrilling process, the privilege of speaking God's word to His people.

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editor's update

Matt Woodley

5 Lifetime Lessons for Any Preacher

December 22, 2014

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