The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln is one of the most famous speeches in US history. I enjoyed in the morning the opportunity to talk about the purposefulness with which Lincoln wrote that address. Later we talked about how the creative process is not like winning the lottery. Some imagine that if you just do a bunch of single or even large bunches of attempts you will finally hit on a winner. Creative writing is a purposeful event and I should expect that the first draft is never going to be the final draft.
When preaching at the 8:30am service I should never give those early risers the first attempt at the sermon. The mirror in my house should get that first attempt or maybe the steering wheel in my car on Friday or Saturday would be a good audience for that first attempt.
The next topic we covered was the characteristics of writing for the ear. We covered many terms to describe different ways to write for the ear, and so imagine an English class. (Alliteration, assonance, etc)
I ate lunch in a lounge and worked on preparations for the afternoon when we each attempted a 4-5 minute retelling of an Old Testament story. I chose the story of Jacob meeting Esau. My presentation went well enough but I appreciated the feedback I got from Clay Schmit and the rest of the class. Each of the presentations were amazing for the one day of preparation we were given.
The performance of preaching needs to be more purposeful. The task is not to be simply more interesting. I do not seek to become the spectacle of the morning. I need to demonstrate through my preaching the remarkable interest I have in sharing the good news. I know in the past people have told my that my sermons are easier to follow when I appear interested.