Monday, January 21, 2008

A week that I never want to miss

For eighteen years in a row, I've spent a week with a group of fifteen other preachers from around the country. We gather in a place where we can study the Bible and do some advance work on a year's worth of sermons.

We call ourselves "The Homiletical Feast," and nobody goes hungry. Here's a picture from this year's gathering, which took place this past week. We share a lot of ideas, tell a lot of stories, and swap insights on the Bible. In the process, we have become good friends.

We schedule our gathering for the third week of January, which qualifies us for great off-season rates in Florida. A lot of friends think we go down there to play all week. Well, not quite.

The fact is, good preaching takes a lot of preparation, and much of it happens when congregations aren't looking. For the fifteen or twenty minutes each week that each of us stands in a pulpit, there's a lot of spade work just out of sight from the congregation.

So this is how we do it: thinking together, praying together, all the time chewing on scripture. And I wouldn't trade it for the world.

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