Preaching for the Long Haul – By Bruce C. Salmon
The biggest challenge for me of a long-term pastorate was the preaching. How does one come up with something “new” to say every Sunday? Yes, the Bible is a vast trove of sermonic material, but the same preacher Sunday after Sunday struggles to interpret a fresh vision of biblical truth that stimulates the mind and touches the heart. Yet it is possible.
The purpose of this book is to illustrate how it is possible. It is a case study in long-term pastoral ministry. Over the years, I preached on some biblical texts many times. Yet, I never repeated a sermon in 33 years, except for preaching basically the same sermon at the two Sunday morning worship services during the school year.
The only difference is that I preached the sermon extemporaneously from the floor for the early contemporary service, and I stood behind the pulpit (with manuscript) for the traditional second service. Beyond that repetition on Sunday morning, however, no one ever came up to me and said, “I remember you preached that sermon before.”
“Preaching for the long haul” requires commitment and study and creativity and prayer, but by God’s grace, it can be done.
Bruce C. Salmon
Salmon served for 33 years as pastor of Village Baptist Church in Bowie, Maryland. During that time he preached almost 1,500 original Sunday morning sermons. Before his service at Village, he served for eight years as associate pastor of Montgomery Hills Baptist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland. Learn more about Salmon on his author page.