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How Teamwork Enriches a Sermon

Our message needs to come from the Lord, but God can speak to us through others.

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Years ago I wrote a book called Refining Your Style, for which I interviewed twelve top communicators. I asked each of the twelve if they ever had someone read their message before preaching it. Every one said yes except for one: Franklin Graham. I remember asking Franklin, "When you finish writing your sermon, do you send it around to other people to read it over to see if they have any suggestions on a better way to say something or a different route to go?" There was this long pause; then he said, "Why would I ask someone else to tell me what the Holy Spirit has laid on my heart to preach?" There was another long silence … and I went on to the next question.

Franklin Graham's take, and it's a valid one, is that if the Holy Spirit lays something on your heart, you should preach it. That approach is a good match for his personality and style of preaching. But he's more gifted than I am, and he's probably in better tune with the Holy Spirit's promptings. For me and my house, I need ...

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