Gospel of Jesus Christ: Session 1

Hey, welcome. My name is Mike Koplitz. I’m Pastor of Bethany church and beautiful downtown Felton. time to time, you’ll get to hear my clocks running in the background. I hope that’s not too disturbing. For us. This is what we call any class, and it’s on preaching. And it’s for the lay servants program for the York district of the Sasquatch conference, but certainly anyone from any conference or any district is more than welcome to take a look at the class. We’re going to be doing this as you know from the syllabus, and I’m gonna make a couple of minor adjustments here and there. As we continue that you’re going to have some videos here to watch where I’m going to talk about some topics and introduce some things. Bearing in mind that my job is to make you think about the material. I want you to be able to sit back and think about why you preach why it’s important. Why do we do these things? And I will ask you questions, or I will make comments. That’s going to definitely provoke you. And it’s going to make you think. And it’s intentional. So I’m not giving you my opinions or my feelings or my beliefs about these things. topics I should say, in particular, but I want you to think about things. And I’m going to do that quite a bit. Those of you who have been in classes that I’ve run, whether online or in person, know that that’s the way we do things I should say, that’s the way I do things anyway. So the other part that you’re going to do is there is a worksheet that goes with each of these videos so that I can see that you really understand what it is that we’re talking about little angle there and what to fix. And remember that the sheets you turn in these sheets that they’re all required, but I’m going to be sending them out to the whole class. So you want to be careful what you’re writing in there, be respectful of others and of course for yourself. Let’s turn to the learning goals and what we’re trying to learn here. To me, what we’re going to do is go through the steps that’s needed to create a sermon for a congregation. That’s pretty simple. We’re also going to do something that’s near and dear to my heart, and I think is one of the most important parts of doing sermons and that is presentation skills. You can write and craft, the most gorgeous sermon in the world. And if your delivery, or what’s the nice way to say this stinks, or puts the congregation to sleep, then what value is there to that wonderful, beautiful sermon that you hand crafted and put together? Obviously, it’s going to mean a lot of nothing. So we’ll go through some presentation skills. Back in the 1990s. I did teach presentation skills, that was a facilitator for a leadership program for one of the largest nonprofits organizations in Pennsylvania. And when I was in seminary, I did ask the seminary professor who ended up at Princeton, and I said to her, are you going to put presentation skills into the curriculum at that time? She didn’t understand why. And when she got to Princeton, I looked up just recently, her curriculum, and I took her classic 14 years ago and still presentation skills was not there, you really have to know how to present. The other thing we’re going to take a look at is critiquing. And when you send the information in for your sermon, then I went asking you to send your research work in first so I can take a look at it and check for the soundness of it. And then when you do your video, it’s going to be sent out to everyone. So we want you to do a video I want you to do, I should say, I want you to do a video of your sermon. It’s not that tough. Have your spouse or significant other or some person in the congregation, pull out their phone and take a video of you. That’s how simple it is now I do these types of things. Minor, just that camera again. But bear in mind that we’re going to send these things out to everyone. I’ll have a, I’ll put together some little critique form or maybe I’ll just do it freehand and let you decide, hey, just write whatever you’d like to write. All right. Let’s get started with the big question. Why do you preach? Why do we do it? In the Protestant tradition, Martin Luther said that you didn’t have a worship unless you had the Word of God read. That’s logical. And you talked about the word and we use the word preached about the word I don’t like that word preaches much, but I’ve learned to accept that. I like to have convert a dialogue or conversation. Now I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years. So I’ve got a lot of years under my belt. I also understand presentation skills and I don’t need a transcript. But you probably still do. And for the first at least 12 years, I was using transcripts. And if I wanted to make sure I got my point across precisely, I still use transcripting now and then, and I’m going to talk about transcripts and how you could create a transcript so that if you are reading it or referring to it, it’s going to sound like you’re talking to people. Anyway. Let’s start off with an interesting question, and that is theology and doctrine in history. The idea of preaching, I believe comes back comes to us through the synagogue system through the Jewish system of when you hold worship, that a rabbi would read a passage of scripture and then discuss it He would tell you things about it that you may not know. But he also opened up dialogue that you could talk to each other even during the message. Now the interesting thing about that is in in the days of the synagogues, the congregation of the congregations were small. And you could do this in the first house churches that the congregations were small, and you could do this. Today, when Constantine made Christianity, the religion of the Empire, all of a sudden we had thousands of people. So for large churches that have hundred 200 300 little difficult to run a dialogue, small churches 50 people they’re not used to it. Don’t walk in and just start dialoguing with them. And it’s taken me two years at the church I’m currently at just to get them to say yes or no. And it’s pretty difficult stuff. But also sermons, not only spoke about theology, but they spoke about the doctrine of the Church and the beliefs of the church. And as you know, every one of these denominations we have in Christianity has its own set of doctrines and statements of faith. It’s also important to get across some of the history because you know what, most people since they don’t really read the Bible, they don’t go to Sunday school anymore. They do not know the history of Christianity. Adam Hamilton, who’s the one knows his name out from Kansas City Church of the resurrection, said to us at the annual conference about raps about six years ago, that he sees his preaching time as an opportunity to teach About the Bible, about the history about the Bible about the history of the church. So think about that. Now, of course, you’ve got a couple of other things to think about your. There’s the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, if you will, I like Hebrew Scriptures better that we could preach. And we could preach it the New Testament. And we have to select between the two. And each one, each one. The two of them do have a common theology about God. Jesus said, he came to fulfill the law and the prophets. That’s what we call the Hebrew Scriptures. So they’re in both so loving God and loving neighbor is a theme that goes through both. what’s different between the two is how do you do it? And the nice part about Jesus coming to be with us is that he shows us Through the Gospels, how to do it. You will say that love God love neighbor. That’s pretty easy thing I can deal with that. But if it was that easy, why do we need a Bible that’s so thick that repeats and repeats and repeats about the love God and the love neighbor? theme. You have to ask yourself some questions here. What is the purpose of preaching? Why do you do it? Why does your pastor do it? To teach the listener about God’s word because they are not studying it at home. In Jesus day, a family would go to bed for you around seven o’clock or so PM, they would get up at midnight. And you know what they did for the next three hours. Yeah, they read the Bible. They talked about scripture. The other thing purpose for preaching is to teach the listener biblical history. In other words to explain what the biblical text meant in the day it was written. That’s the hard part, folks. And for 15 years I’ve been working on trying to understand, what did people hear when Jesus spoke? Because we have 1900 years of church doctrine and definitions, and they decided to break away from Judaism. So they made up a lot of interpretation. What is the original interpretations? What is it that the people heard, and because of that search, I just completed my PhD degree Then, well, we call him break studies in Christianity, but it was learning how to search the Scriptures and understand the scriptures so that I can ask pretty much course I wasn’t there. So I can’t tell you what people actually heard. But I think I know what the scripture is saying, especially words of Jesus, because I learned the Bible study methods that we use in the homes from midnight to 3pm. And perhaps in time, we could run a class on how to do that. To give life to the word showing how it’s useful today, we call that hermeneutics. That’s taking the text that was written anywhere from 3000 to 2000 years ago, how does it apply today? The Bible is a living document. And what that really means to me is that if I is applicable when it was written. And today in the Hebrew language, there are only two verb tenses. There’s past and there’s present slash future. You’re really using the present tense in Hebrew, it’s really future. Because think about it, you never live in the present. You’re always living in the future, because seconds are constantly going by and time doesn’t stop. Unless you could stop time. Like Joshua who stopped the moon in the sun for three days. You’re always living in the future. And his break, people understood that their sense of time was very, very different than it is for us today. So when they were writing, they were talking about their time, and they were talking about the future. And Jesus talks about the future. too. And a lot of what’s happening today in the world is there. So what’s the bottom line purpose of preaching? Ask yourself that, what motivates you to preach? But what are you going to do with your preaching? And it’s to motivate the congregation to change their values and or their behaviors. You’re trying to explain to them that there’s a better way to live, that you want to follow God’s way that you want to do this or think that way or whatever it happens to be. You’re trying to persuade them. It’s a persuasive argument. That’s what it’s about. If you’re going to get in front of people, and just read off facts and figures and tell them what word studies mean, whatever, that’s what we call didactic or a teaching method, but it’s more of a teaching lecture and not as tournament. sermons are supposed to either make you feel good, or make you feel bad. Teaching is supposed to present information for you to gather to ponder, to think about. So what are we going to look to learn as we go through these sessions together? First fancy word is actually Jesus a beautiful Greek word. It means being able to look at the Scripture and understand what does it mean? What is it saying? hermeneutics I really explained that already. That’s taking this research and information that you put together and crafting it into something that’s applicable today. That’s why I asked you to do a little research paper and exegetical paper next to Jesus. And then you’ll do your hermeneutics that will become your sermon. And of course, we’re going to talk about presentation skills and delivery. Again, if you put the people to sleep worthless sermon. I encourage you to come to Bethany Felton, 41, High Street 845 or 11am on a Sunday, and come see how I do sermons. Now, you might want to email me just to make sure I’m there that Sunday. And I don’t have I don’t have an anticipated vacation day until the week after Christmas. But it wouldn’t hurt to check with me. And then you will be able to see how I’m delivering and how I’m using presentation skills to keep the people involved and integrated or I should say engaged with a sermon. As we come here together, hopefully you’ll have some fun with this. I’ll try to keep these videos from being bored. That’s why I’m using these four cameras and you get to see my room that that I live in, shall we say my cave, at least virtually you can say that. Fill out your worksheets for each of the sessions, and everything will be great. God bless you and I’ll see you in the next session.