This is the sixth installment in our Preaching Notes Series. (Although this post might be more appropriately titled preaching "sticky notes"...more on that in a minute.) For most of you Mark Driscoll needs no introduction. He's the pastor of Mars Hill Church a growing, vibrant, gospel-proclaiming body in Seattle, and leads the Acts 29 church-planting network. He's also the author of several books including The Radical Reformission and the new Death by Love.
When I originally asked Mark to participate by sharing his preaching notes he declined. So I asked him again. He sent the following email explaining his initial reluctance as well as his unique approach to notes. Mark writes,
Josh, I have hesitated to send you my preaching notes because...they're usually aren't any. When I do a topical sermon there are some. But, when I'm working through a text of the Bible I pretty much scratch a few words on a sticky tab and maybe in pencil put a few words in the margin and get up and go for an hour-ish. Most of the jokes, cross references, illustrations etc. are made up on the spot while preaching. In that way I'm pretty Spirit lead. I study a ton going in to fill up, and then get up and preach it out. This is a copy of my Bible from my latest sermon on the first half of Jesus High Priestly Prayer in John 17. I used about half the stuff on the sticky notes and preached for about an hour. I would not commend anyone to preach this way as it's the pastoral equivalent to driving blindfolded—exciting but dangerous. So, for what it's worth here it is.I agree with Mark's encouragement not to follow his example in this regard. And that's not because I don't believe in the leading of the Holy Spirit. But I think Mark is uniquely gifted and has an ability to absorb and recall great amounts of what he has studied. I for one, don't have this same ability. I say this only because I don't want any young preachers to get up to preach with two sticky notes either having not studied and prepared enough or, lacking Mark's ability to remember what they studied, to fall on their face and then blame the Holy Spirit. Repeat after me, "I am not Mark Driscoll."
[Update: The purpose of this post and this series is to learn about preaching, not to comment on the preachers or attack their ministries. I've turned off comments for this post and deleted all comments that veer from this clear purpose. Thanks for understanding.]