Preaching Donkey has been so much fun. I can’t believe it’s been around for six months! I started this blog on July 1, 2014 as a way to help preachers communicate better. I wanted to share some thoughts and start a conversation with other preachers and learn together. The response has blown me away! So far the blog has 31 posts with 17,739 page views. Over 10,000 people follow @PreachingDonkey on Twitter and 154 people like Preaching Donkey on Facebook. Preaching Donkey articles have been published on Sermon Central and Church Leaders several times. I never dreamed this little idea would take off like it has, but this is only the beginning!
I am truly grateful for you. Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing Preaching Donkey with your friends. You are why Preaching Donkey will keep going into 2015 with even more helpful content for preachers who want to communicate better! I thought it would be fun to look back at the top five most viewed posts of this year.
Here’s to 6 Months of Preaching Donkey – Top 5 Posts of 2014
Coming in at #5 with 605 views, this three part series of posts is all about the importance of preparing sermons in teams. One of the most helpful practices I have adapted this year is preparing sermons, at least in part, with other people. In this series of posts I write about my own experience of moving from the lone ranger sermon prep model to a more collaborative, team-based approach.
One commenter said that he tried asking some people in his church for input and was told, “I’m not here to help you write your sermons, that’s what we pay you to do!” As if he was being lazy by asking for input from others. This is an unfortunate response, and one that I’m afraid is all too common. But I did get a lot of great feedback from preachers who have begun (or were already) doing part of their preparation with other people. Most preachers I talk to who have tried this love it.
At #4 with 709 views is the post on how important it is to have a schedule for your sermon prep. Over the last couple years I have found that the more consistent I can be with sermon writing, the better. With a schedule I can know if I’m where I need to be, and I can adjust if I’m behind. In this post I also give my weekly prep schedule in detail as an example to help you get started with yours.
With 947 views this post comes in at #3. This entry is really a written account of the four most common mistakes I made early on in my preaching career. These are mistake I still make when I’m not careful. They are the four categories of sermon ending mishaps I think most preachers make. Maybe you’ll relate and perhaps it will help prevent you from committing these in the future.
This article was published in Sermon Central as well. One preacher commented on mistake number four which is failing to give application, “I feel cheated if I listen to a sermon with no application. Information minus application equals education. Education is good. Education plus application is better. If there is no application it is a missed opportunity for change. Without change what’s the point?”
The second most read post with 1,017 views is on why shorter sermons are almost always better. In this post, I make an argument that shorter sermons are usually better sermons for a variety of reasons. I discuss my own experience with how moving to a shorter time-limit has improved my preaching as it has forced me to focus more on what’s important for each sermon. This was published on Sermon Central too.
This post sparked “love it” or “hate it” responses. Some readers responded with things like, “Yeah, I totally agree, preaching too long is a killer.” Other readers made comments like, “How could you kill the Holy Spirit’s work!” and “God gets to decide when the sermon ends!” and “Unless you preach for as long as you like God’s power will leave your church!” and “You and your short sermons are what’s wrong with the world!”
I would love to hear your thoughts on it.
The #1 post with 1,870 views which also happens to be the most controversial post is about fat preachers. It’s important to understand that this blog is written to pastors who preach and who want to communicate better. This post is a brutally honest look at one of the many things that can hinder our ability to communicate – our weight. I write about my own journey of weight loss and encourage pastors to take an honest look at their own eating habits in light of their desire to lead others well.
Needless to say the responses were intense. Some commented with agreement and their stories of weight loss. Others accused me of being a real meanie. You should definitely check it out. I would love to hear your thoughts on it.
Those are the top 5 posts of 2014. It’s been a great six months, and I am so excited for this coming year.
What’s coming for 2015?
As Preaching Donkey has done from the very beginning, we will continue to post helpful content every week specifically designed to help you communicate better as a preacher. But in addition to that, a podcast is in the works and a book. Stay connected and don’t forget to share Preaching Donkey with a friend!
What do you enjoy about the blog? What topics would you like us to cover in 2015?