To ask yourself before you start delivering your sermon…..

…..assuming you have prepared and prayed well and checked your heart:

** Is there a significant huge event that I should at least salute?   Most people hear or see the news, and we do not want to appear that we live in a separate world.

Of course if it is huge tragedy, we must reach into an already prepared emergency tragedy sermon file.  No one after 9/11 preached on the next few verses in the series.

** Is this near a holiday that I should acknowledge?

We do not have to look for a verse about July 4, but can refer to it or use an illustration that does not make everyone a US citizen. Otherwise, listeners may think we do not know where we are on the calendar.

** Is there a major physical or personal need or event that needs to be prayed for or announced in your size church?

A birth, a death, a tragedy, something the church should rally around.

** Is this a church anniversary that should be celebrated?

The English have an expression, “River crossed, bridge forgotten.”

** What does the start of the sermon follow that should be acknowledged or used as a bridge?

We would not follow the “Hallelujah Chorus” without a careful reference to it, of course. Neither should we take the stage as if nothing else has gone on. This is sometimes called “awareness of surroundings”!

** Is there something the church just did that should be celebrated, or coming up that should be supported?

Our staff used to say that announcements were pushes (and we tried to keep it to three a week),   but something at the start of the sermon time was a shove!

** Is there a personal need or event that should be shared with good friends, and not just kept secret?

If you just had a baby or grand baby, you will not need this reminder, but some other joys are also meant to be shared. And the church rejoices with you or cries with you.