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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Adam Hamilton: Spiritual, inspirational and inclusive

Reverend Adam Hamilton (Wikigear)
When the National Prayer Service committee looks around for a suitable preacher, there are many to choose from that are spiritual and inspirational.  However, adding "inclusive" to the mix can narrow down the possibilities considerably.

Reverend Adam Hamilton - in his blog post Preaching for the President's Inauguration - reports that although the White House did not tell him exactly "what to preach on" for Tuesday morning's post-inauguration service, he nevertheless received instructions for the 15-minute sermon to be "spiritual, inspirational and inclusive." 
Hamilton, widely known as a centrist, might therefore have to walk those often-thin lines that denominations and religions are entangled with.

It's no wonder that Hamilton is feeling "a bit nervous."  Not only will the nation's top leaders be front and center, but fundamentalists the world over could be critiquing his every word.  However, Hamilton is a master at preaching before thousands.  As founding pastor of "a United Methodist church that has grown from four people in 1990 to more than 12,000 members today," his sermons have no doubt been well
received by a diverse group of listeners.  When asked during a interview about his sermon preparation, Hamilton explained the following:  I look for trends [within e-mails that he receives]… and I spend a day praying over them, reading them, looking at which ones speak to me and where they might fit in a year's worth of preaching.  Then I go to my staff on the front lines of ministry with people and ask them the same questions...  Then I go on a day-long retreat in which I'm reading and praying over all of this material, and I begin to outline some possibilities…  I bring that back to our worship planning team and our leadership team, and I say: 'Tell me how these feel to you…'

Hamilton, therefore, takes a very collaborative approach to the art of sermon delivery.  He not only consults with God (through prayer), but also with God's people (through inquiry).  This seems to increase the probability of sermon content truly connecting with those in search of spiritual, inspirational and inclusive wisdom.


Copyright January 22, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved


1 comment:

  1. As a member of the Universal Life Church I totally agree with Hamilton's inclusive approach. Thanks for sharing this story