Chris leads Life Church, Southampton and is a gifted communicator and leader. Like most of the other contributors to this series so far, Chris uses a fairly full manuscript to preach from, which might seem surprising in light of his very engaging and energetic style.
Chris is probably best known outside his home church as an evangelist, and he is also something of a poet. In his answers to my questions both his passion for the gospel and his love for words shine through …
When & where was this sermon preached?
Last Sunday – 17th October 2010. Life Church Southampton.
Was it a special occasion or regular Sunday?
It was a regular Sunday.
Why did you choose this subject/text?
This was part three of a new series in the book of Acts, called ‘Explosive Church’ Available on www.lifesouthampton.org or from the ‘itunes store’.
On average, how long does it take you to prepare a sermon?
I would say in one sense it takes my whole life up until that point!
For a major series I tend to do quite a lot of background reading and study in the three months leading up to the series, making notes and jotting down initial thoughts and ideas. From then I will consider the preaching priorities, and work on a structure for the series. In this particular series, however, I have chosen to begin, but don’t yet have an end point in sight!
From my gathered notes, the actual preparation of the sermon probably takes about 8-10 hours, though sometimes things materialise a lot quicker. (particularly if my pre-prep notes are fairly comprehensive). I think my quickest has been about 3 hours, whereas those that are harder to construct may take a couple of working days.
On average, for how long do you preach?
What do you find most challenging about preaching?
The balance between digging in deep, and moving on with pace. There are times when I’m desperate to delve, but know I must move on!
What do you most enjoy about preaching?
Seeing lights come on, seeing lives move forward and freedom come. I love the prophetic edge to preaching that changes the dynamic of the church as God speaks to us through the word and births new things in us. I also quite like the drama of preaching, the pathos and appeal, the challenge and the provocation, the exhortation and comforting. The best thing about preaching is that we get to bring lots of glory to Jesus.
You can listen to Chris preach here, and here are his sermon notes: