At church on Sunday I roadtested the radical suggestion I made in last month’s article entitled ‘The word of God, loud and clear’. In this article, I suggested the following:

“In normal situations, we listen to the Bible read before the preacher explains and expands the text. Wouldn’t it be better to hear the Bible expounded, and then hear it read? The text would gain even greater clarity, and the meaning would be amplified by the exposition just presented by the preacher.”

Well, it might shock you to know that before I had written the article, I had never seen this done in real life. It was simply an exercise in kite-flying, so to speak.

Anyway, when I put together the runsheet on Sunday for the gathering I was leading, I gave it a try, and it worked a treat. Not only did the Bible reader read with more clarity (since she had just been given a twenty-minute preparation for her task), but the whole congregation also benefited from hearing the word of God, after it was explained.

What’s more, it made the reading of the Word appear to have a centrality in the gathering that I’ve not experienced before. It was as if the reading of the sermon passage was the peak of the word ministry.

Have you ever tried this retrospective reading? Have you ever witnessed it first-hand?

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