Sermo and Homilia

In previous posts, I’ve talked about sermons and homilies and the difference between the two. This morning, a group of pastors and I were talking about sermons and preaching. If you’ve been around our church, you know that I teach in bit of an unorthodox way. It is because I believe that we pastors see ourselves as professors teaching classes instead of being shepherds leading our people through the journey and equipping them along the way.

Sermon Homily
Academic – logic and process produce knowledge Organic – relationships give birth to understanding
The preacher chooses texts that go along with his topic. The preacher walks alongside the texts.
People are challenged to make application. People are challenged to internalize the truth of the text.
Focused on change – negative assessment of the congregation’s initial position toward topic. Focused on journeying with the truth – a neutral assessment of the congregation’s condition.
Tends toward “Why aren’t you?” and “You should…” Tends toward, “Let’s talk” and “look at this!”
Revolves around our human response Revolves around the Scriptures

Here are a few useful books that will point out some things you may or may not have heard before.

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2 thoughts on “Sermo and Homilia

  1. Good stuff, Erik. I recently downloaded your “Fragments” series and enjoy your approach. It can be a bit confusing for a moment (at certain times – probably because I am used to the sermon), but when I step back and ponder the entirety of the message, it all comes together.

  2. Homily is MUCH harder to do than sermon because it requires submitting your will and creativity to the text. I remember the moment when I started to break from sermon. We were watching a series on preaching from Rick Warren, and he openly advocating changing the order of things in a text in order to make it fit your outline. I was flabbergasted.

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