Anyone who has preached at a wedding and a funeral in the same week can attest to the power of the occasion to impact the preaching event. At times, a congregational transition looms so large in a sermon that it becomes the lens through which scripture is interpreted, the congregation is addressed, the preacher is heard, and God is experienced.
Homiletics professor and parish pastor Craig Satterlee reflects in this accessible, provocative volume on how to integrate such significant events in a congregation's life into the preaching ministry of the church. Rather than offering a blueprint for preaching, however, he walks alongside pastors, seminarians, and other congregational leaders who want to make sure the gospel, not an agenda, is preached.
Issues considered include: (1) the benefits and risks of using preaching to address the transition, (2) how preaching collaborates with other congregational processes involved in the transition, (3) how scripture and the transition interpret one another, (4) how to incorporate the transition into the form, content, and delivery of the sermon so that the gospel and not a program or agenda is proclaimed and heard, and (5) how the transition affects the preacher's ability to proclaim and the congregation's ability to receive the message.
"In this book," says Rev. Dana S. Hughes, "Craig Satterlee brilliantly demonstrates that change is an active participant in the life of every congregation, sometimes sitting quietly on the back row, sometimes directing the choir, but always present and always insisting, for good or ill, that it be included in the conversation about how the church is church. For anyone preaching in times of transition, this book is a must read."