Friday, 15 June 2007

Postscript to My Sermon: What Story Are You Telling?

A number of friends have asked me about my sermon that I preached last Sunday (see my earlier post, My Sermon: What Story Are You Telling?). Thanks to all who encouraged me.

It's difficult for me to share about my sermon. But based on the feedback and comments received, I think the congregation was blessed by the sketch. It seems to me that having the sketch in the middle of the sermon did create an impact - because it was totally unexpected and it surprised everyone. As a result, the main message of the sermon was powerfully communicated.

The sketch went very well. Both Ruth and Ewe Jin did a fantastic job. Both of them have recorded their reflections on the sketch. Do read what Ruth and Ewe Jin have to say about their experience. The script for the sketch can also be found in Ruth's blog.

I hope that on Sunday, June 10 2007, the church has a different, refreshing, and meaningful worship experience.

p.s. - oh yes, I did receive one more comment - my sermon is getting shorter and shorter....! Hmmm..wonder whether is this good or bad?


rccnlj said...

Aiyah... Want to clarify something. MOST of the people that I know says they like your sermon - short or not..
So being short (sermon wise) is a good thing also laa....

Kar Yong said...


Got another phone call just now - again the comment was that it was a VERY SHORT sermon!

keropok lekor said...

Good la short sermon. Then more time for community-building and bonding mah.

Donolah, but what if we shift the focus from pulpit-congregation method of christian teaching, to conversational, non-formal teaching? Will it be as effective?

Kar Yong said...

keropok lekor,

well...if people DO stay back after church service for community-building and bonding, then it is good. As it is, most people (especially in a large church like PJEFC), will just leave the church. raised a good question...I think we do need both methods of Christian education as there is a place for both. This is something that I try very hard to incorporate into the church's Adult Chrisitan Education programmes which I currently oversee.

But perhaps we could post the question to Dr Alex Tang, an expert in Christian formation, and see what he says :-) Alex, over to you!

pearlie said...

Good to hear that it all went well, short or not :) Well, I suppose you can look at it this way - you are now better with words and constructing the sermon that it took you lesser time to do it, like how we need to use lesser words to do our assignments!

dave said...

the mini skirt analogy is applicable to sermons isn't it?

Short enuff to be interesting and long enuff to cover the essentials hehehe

Kar Yong said...


Well, the sermon is not really that short - it's 32min, incl the 7min sketch!

Kar Yong said...

Mini skirt - tak bolehlah...itu haram, mendedahkan can!


pearlie said...

Oklah... I give you lah... 32min sremon WITHOUT interpretation is ok lah ;)

Alex Tang said...

oops. ball in in my court.

hi kar yong and keropok lekor,

firstly, I no expert in Christian formation (note the disclaimer *smile*).

The pulpit-congregation way of preaching/teaching has been the main way of teaching in churches for many years. Where it may have been useful in the past where the majority of people are illterate or do not have copies of the Bible, this is no longer so.

Modern learning theories has found that this pulpit-congregation teaching is similar to the schooling model is not effective for adult learning.

Hence there is a strong movement away from the pulpit-congregation approach. However, there is also a great resistant to dismantling the pulpit and rearranging the sanctuary (which looks like a classroom anyway).

Some emerging churches are experimenting with alternate ways of teaching.

Nevetheless, even in the mainline churches, sermons are now delivered in an informal conversational style.

The best learning still takes place in nonformal small groups of trusted friends with a shared beliefs and shared lived experiences.


Kar Yong said...

Thanks, Alex, for your comments and input.

After all, our Lord himself has 12 disciples who learned from him in a small group setting "with a shared beliefs and shared lived experiences."

For myself, the question is still this: Am I willing to make time to mentor and nurture younger leaders?

Alex Tang said...

good question.