doctor of blues

a year ago, i began my doctor of ministry (d. min., not ph. d.) studies at wesley seminary in washington, d.c. the three year course is called "preaching in the 21st century." i really felt God calling me to the program, and i was thrilled at the prospect of learning more about preaching. the first semester was great-- good, challenging classes, exciting new friendships. the last semester was poor academically, but excellent in terms of fellowship. now i am preparing for the third semester, which will take place in kansas city in june.

coming off my last semester's experiences, it has been hard to get geared up for the next session. the first week we will discuss our thoughts on our final projects, a sort of dissertation. the second week we'll discuss preaching in series, which i talked about in my last blog entry. my plan all along was to focus my final project on preaching in the african-american tradition. through my work on the north texas conference anti-racism team, i have come to appreciate the power of the prophetic voice in preaching, leading others to change. the themes of liberation and celebration typically heard in african-american preaching strongly appeal to me.

a year later, i have no idea what to do. for whatever reason, that topic seems less interesting to me. i just can't formulate the right questions to center around an 80-page project. so i am facing the real possibility of showing up in k.c. a completely blank slate. i suppose that's ok, certainly better than showing up in february '09 with a blank slate. and who knows, between now and then (including the eight hour car trip) maybe God will plant a seed or two.

maybe the answer lies in the discipline of preaching itself. the best preachers seek God's will in their lives, listening to the movement of the Holy Spirit as they discern the scriptures. they also discern what is happening in their congregation's life, as well as their own life. add God's power to the mix and you have a recipe for something meaningful. zan holmes, perhaps the nation's best preacher, sums it up best in his prayer before preaching: "save me from me, hide me behind the cross, so that what is seen and heard is you, not me."


Anonymous said…
I am sure that God will fill your mind with focus just as God has filled your heart with a passion for preaching. You are in my thoughts and prayers.