Category Archives: Paul F. Bosch

Public Prayers Belong to the Church’s Witness

The demands of serving a public responsibility, for example in worship leadership, will not allow us to display our prejudices or opinions in the public prayers of the church. Personal opinion and witness is altogether fitting and proper in the context of the sermon – provided it still remains within the rubric…of belonging to the church’s witness….

In the public prayers of the liturgy the mood is much more discreet, much more unassuming and restrained. The prayers you pray aloud as worship leader are to be endorsed and appropriated by all worshipers, remember – even by those who do not share your views. You are serving as their voice in prayer – that is the public role and responsibility every pastor assumes. If you are uncomfortable with that kind of advocacy, you’ll want to spend some time rethinking your vocational choice. The pastor – indeed the Christian! – is called upon to represent all people, even those we may not prefer to represent. We have the example of Christ in that!

Rev. Paul F. Bosch, “The Sermon As Part of the Liturgy”, p. 27-28

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Sermon: Property and Custody

The sermon…is the property of the church in the custody of the pastor. Both qualifiers are important. Because the sermon does not belong to the preacher, but to the whole church, the preacher will try to see to it that, on a given Sunday morning, the witness of the whole church is heard, not simply the preacher’s own biases and prejudices. But because the sermon is placed in the custody of the pastor, it will at the same time be a personal statement, a kind of “testimony”: This is how I hear the Spirit speaking to me in the Scripture for the day.

Furthermore, the sermon on Sunday morning is set in the context of the church’s public liturgy. It is one part of a larger public offering of praise and thanksgiving – part of a meeting with the Lord of life and with one another in the Christian family. The sermon of course brings God’s Word to bear upon our lives in contemporary terms; it mediates between God and His world; it provides a “mask” through which the hidden God is revealed in His judgment and His grace, today, in this place, among these people.

Rev. Paul F. Bosch, The Sermon As Part of the Liturgy, page 19

Paul F. Bosch