We finished the expository sermons on Romans in the beginning of December, almost 1 year after we started this. Sermons from a single book have an advantage that we can cover the whole book, but I feel that one year was too long. One thing that was disappointing for me was that the House Church bible studies did not follow the scriptures used for the sermons. As Romans contain difficult content and if the worshippers had pre-read the verses and had a time to think about them, it could have been easier to listen to the sermon.
As a note, the practice of studying the verses to be used in the Sunday sermon during the weekly House Church was stopped by me after I became the main pastor. Reverend Young Gi Chai, who was the previous main pastor, always delivered sermons following a book. He sometimes covered up to five chapters from Old Testament books, and a whole chapter from New Testament. It was such a big material that the sermon could not cover everything in the scriptures and the weekly House Church bible studies helped a lot in understanding the material. But to the end of his tenure, he covered less material in his sermons and the main bible study teachers complained that it was difficult to come up with study material. Since I heard their complaints and since I used few verses for each sermon, I thought that it would be difficult to come up with weekly bible study material. But now I think that it would have been better to cover difficult books like Romans during the weekly House Church bible studies. From now on, if I am delivering expository sermons, we will try to cover them in the House Church bible studies.
Some of you have asked what book will be covered after Romans. I do not yet have any plans. For now as we go through the end of year and welcome New Year, I plan on delivering topical sermons and soon after the New Year; I plan on covering the Ten Commandments. Ten Commandments are composed of short sentences for each commandment, but the ideas behind each one is inexhaustible. There could be even two or three sermons for each commandment. That may take up to 6 months.
Another idea I have on the sermon is to expand on the Wednesday sermons and deliver it during Sunday. Usually the Wednesday sermons were simple sermons 15 to 20 minutes long using the themes from everyday life, or ideas that came from some discovery or news articles. I sometimes feel the need to expand more on the topics and desire to deliver them as Sunday sermons but I also worry that these may lighten the depth of Sunday sermon.
When I was not the main pastor, I sometimes used skits or movie trailers and experimented with the sermon formats. There were great response to these sermons and I sometimes feel a desire do this again, but after I became the main pastor, I cannot devote a lot of time to prepare these types of sermons. Lately, I end up starting to prepare the sermons on Thursday of the week and I am very rushed. I am thinking hard about how to inject a variety during the given time for the sermons and the methods discussed above may be the ways for me to do this.
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