Global Leadership Network UK & Ireland

GLN UK & Ireland

Preaching – Part 3 – Anthony Clarke

Preaching – Part 3
by Anthony Clarke, Tutor in Pastoral Studies and Community Learning, Regent’s Park College, Oxford

Tag-team Preaching

An innovation in our church this year has been what we have called tag-team preaching. I wasn’t convinced about the wrestling analogy, but it has worked well. Although there are four quite experienced preachers involved in the church, we have wanted to identify gifts and develop other preachers too. So for a six week series, one of the experienced preachers was paired with one of six new and developing preachers. Together they would work on the text, prepare and deliver the sermon. Some of the sermons were divided into two halves – one person preaching the first half and the other person preaching the second; others were divided in different ways. In one I shared, we decided in our preparation that there were five parts of the sermon and we swapped each time. The feedback from the congregation was encouraging and they appreciated the opportunities given to others.

Looking back to when I began preaching some years ago, it was more like jumping in the deep end. This recent experiment had lots of positives for both the more experienced and the newer preachers. For some it was their first ‘sermon’ and there were all the benefits not only of having someone to share the time speaking, but also the joint preparation. In the two evenings we spent planning together there were opportunities to talk about wrestling with the meaning of a text, of structuring a sermon, of preparing notes or a script. As in so many areas, it is in teaching and helping others that I learn so much. It requires a certain vulnerability for someone else to question how and why you do things, however long you have been preaching! It also demands that we question the dominant tradition that expects to hear a single voice. We certainly plan to try it again.

The Series

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Related resources

The Art of Teaching Course
The Art of Teaching – Seminar MP3s and CDs – John Ortberg
Anatomy of a Message – John Ortberg DVD/CD
Don’t Write a Talk, Craft an Experience – Rob Bell CD
Leading, Teaching and Having a Life – Bill Hybels DVD/CD
Teaching the Heart of the Old Testament – John Ortberg