And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself… And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened
the Scriptures to us?’” Luke 24: 27, 32
500 years ago, 1 January 1519, Ulrich Zwingli, the Swiss Reformer, began expository preaching through the New Testament. In memory of this bold initiative to place the preaching of God’s Word at the centre of church services, we are motivating and equipping preachers with the resources necessary to effectively proclaim, teach and apply God’s Word to their congregations.
The first in the series of FIRE (Fellowship for International Reformation and Evangelism) Preaching Workshops was held on Saturday 16 February. The theme was Preaching From the Book of Genesis. Presentations were given on Genesis Bible Survey Overview; Genesis in Redemptive History; Exegeting the Book of Genesis; Exegetical Practical; Practical Sermon Preparation; Open Discussion and Q&A.
It was a mixed group of preachers, teachers, and people who were interested in understanding the Bible. The overwhelming response at the end of the conference was “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”. Some said “I was so blessed” “I learned so much” “It spoke to my heart”. One man came to me afterwards and said that he had been preaching for a long time, but realised that he has been doing it wrong the whole time. He said: “I realise that I need to start all over again, from scratch!”
When asked how they benefited from the workshop, some responses were: “Now I know how to prepare a sermon”, I learnt how to dig deeper and to be responsible of what I say to others in preaching or teaching”, “I have a deeper appreciation for the Word of God”, “How to outline a sermon and see the book of Genesis from a different light and how to preach on it.”, “I have learned things that I have never heard before”. “I left completely inspired and would have loved to see these workshops running for the next couple of Saturdays”. “It was an eye opening experience and I can't wait for the next session”.
While it should no longer amaze me, I am still astounded at how much people appreciate the Word of God simply explained and applied. In fact, the participants who were not in regular preaching ministry constantly asked questions about what to do when one’s pastor does not preach the Word faithfully! These questions and the testimonies we received reminded me why we are doing these workshops. We have a burning desire to equip people to feed God’s starving sheep!
One person provided some loving critical feedback, asking that we spend more time emphasising the role of prayer and the Holy Spirit. We have obviously “dealt” with this in previous seminars, but the role of the Holy Spirit and prayer should never be forgotten when preparing and presenting a sermon. We are totally dependent on the Spirit’s power and we would all do well to persistently remind ourselves of this fact.
The next FIRE Preaching Workshop will be on the 23rd of March. Please continue to pray for us as we prepare our lectures, minds, hearts and hospitality to host this next vital workshop.
Please keep your eyes open for the audio from Saturday’s workshop on sermonaudio. You can also find presentations from previous workshops there. Video footage will be uploaded onto our vimeo account. PowerPoint presentations will be uploaded onto slide share.
For His Glory
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021 689 4480