Saturday, March 09, 2013

NC Series on 1 Corinthians

A few weeks ago I began  new teaching series on Paul's first letter to the church in Corinth.  Every year I try to teach one long series.  Last year it was a series on Jesus; the year before on Ephesians.  This year's series will stretch close to five months.

A lot goes into preparing for a series like this.  I've been in prep mode for the last six months.  What does prep mode look like for a series like this?

First, I've read 1 Corinthians many times.  And as I've read, I've thought not only about what God said to the church in Corinth, but about what he wants to say to our church.  In a lot of ways we're very different than the church in Corinth, separated by time & culture in big ways.  But in a lot of other ways this church is our sister.  So not only have I read this letter; I've also prayed it.

Second, I've taken notes as I read.  I sometimes do this on my computer, but this time I used a spiral bound notebook.  I went chapter by chapter, noting observations, questions, words that needed further study, etc.  That in-depth study then helped me discern how to break up the letter for our series.  If you want to know more about how I've broken it up, you can read an intro paper I wrote.  You can also see the Sunday night schedule here.

Third, I've read a lot of commentaries.  Some of my favorites have been by Gordon Fee, Anthony Thiselton, Richard Hays, Craig Blomberg, and Ben Witherington (not a commentary but very helpful).

Fourth, I've listened to sermons from other pastors and teachers.  My favorites have been from Trinity Grace, Soma, & Imago Dei.

Through all of this I've continued to internalize this letter, and as I've done that the teaching has been flowing out, not only in sermons but in discipleship and coaching.  I'm grateful that God continues to speak through such an ancient book, and I'm grateful for how He's going to work in our church this year through it.

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