The Company of Pastors

HereUnknown is Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the goal of preaching:

I would add that I have often discouraged the taking of notes while I am preaching. It is becoming a custom among evangelical people; but it is not, as many seem to think, the hallmark of spirituality! The first and primary object of preaching is not only to give information. It is, as Edwards says, to produce an impression. It is the impression at the time that matters, even more than what you can remember subsequently. In this respect Edwards is, in a sense, critical of what was a prominent Puritan custom and practice. The Puritan father would catechize and question the children as to what the preacher had said. Edwards, in my opinion, has the true notion of preaching. It is not primarily to impart information; and while you are writing your notes you may be missing something of the impact of the Spirit. As preachers, we must not forget this. We are not merely imparters of information. We should tell our people to read certain books themselves and get the information there. The business of preaching is to make such knowledge live. The same applies to lecturers in Colleges. The tragedy is that many lecturers simply dictate notes and the wretched students take them down. That is not the business of a lecturer or a professor. The students can read the books for themselves; the business of the professor is to light a fire, to enthuse, to stimulate, to enliven. And that is the primary business of preaching. Let us take this to heart. Edwards laid great emphasis upon this; and what we need above everything else today is moving, passionate, powerful preaching. It must be ‘warm’ and it must be ‘earnest’.

I believe this is one of the most important paragraphs for understanding Lloyd-Jones’ notion of preaching. And this will be our goal with our courses. Our goal is make the knowledge live. 

All of our content will be directed toward that end.

Here we will sit at the feet of master’s of the past. We will lay our own work open to critical and caring eyes, and we will lift up constant reminders of God’s grace, and the glory of the gospel.

Self-Directed Apprenticeships

1. Self-Directed, but intentionally ordered.

Our goal is to order the path. Create the structure to help facilitate learning. Your task is to walk the path.

The very nature of an apprenticeship means you are guided. We are very intentional in how we structure the courses. You are not tossed into the flood of information and expected to find your way. (For example, there are over 1,600 sermons by Lloyd-Jones on the Lloyd-Jones Trust website! Where do you begin?)

2. Apprenticeships: This is the way every field has been taught for 1,000’s of years.

  • We will direct ourselves toward the small things we can improve, i.e., better introductions, illustrations, applications, etc…
  • We will concentrate on becoming proficient at the simple and immediate skills we need to improve gradually, week by week.
  • We will learn the value of discipline and see the rewards for our efforts. The key is diligence and focus.

The goal is skill development.

For more on Self-Directed Apprenticeships, click here.

2 Things we know you don’t have much of:

1. Time

2. Money

And of the two, we know that time is probably the more precious commodity.

So…

> We will try our best to keep the cost as low as possible and the quality as high as possible.

  • For example, I am staying up way too late trying to teach myself WordPress, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc…so that we don’t have to hire anyone to do the design work and I can build the site myself. Since we didn’t have any “coding” classes in Seminary, I am on my own.
  • But, we also want everything to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. The student experience is of supreme importance. No janky sound. No dogs barking in the background. No high pitch wheezes that give you a headache when listening. You will be able to tell they are not professionally done…but not by much. And I hope you find the savings will be worth it.
  • To that end, we are planning on recording all of our class lectures on our computers at home. They will not be “professionally” done.

> Designed to be 4 weeks in duration, with 6 lessons per week, our courses will take you about 1 hour a day to complete.

  • Why? Life is crazy. Ministry is crazy. Combine the two, and 1 hour a day for 4 weeks is about all to which we can realistically commit.

> We are very intentional in how we structure the Apprenticeships in order to maximize your time.

  • Deep learning can’t be rushed. There are no shortcuts to becoming a better preacher. You will need to preach thousands of sermons. But that doesn’t mean you have to waste your time. One hour of intense study here will be more valuable than 3 hours of twitter-filled, email-checking, chia latte-fueled, half-hearted dabbling.

2 essentials to every course:

1. Focus. You will have to focus. Turn off the notifications. Silence the phone. Close the door.

2. Engagement. Apprenticeships only work if you are actively engaged in the work. If you just want to be a passive recipient of the information, then these courses are not for you. On the resources page, we will gladly point you to where you can find great info. Our goal here is to make the information live. If you don’t fully engage, then you are wasting your time.

 

Our goal is to help your sermons get to the status of good. Only the presence of the Holy Spirit can make your sermons great.