Page Icon

Sermon Roundtable

Enrich your Preaching by Including Laity
in Collaborative Exegesis and Preaching Feedback

  • Would you like members of your congregation to be more engaged in weekly Bible study?
  • Do you want to feel more connected to your parish, especially in your call to preach the Good News?
  • Are you interested in improving your preaching through the use of supportive, caring feedback?

If so, then consider trying Sermon Roundtable, a new program developed by the Episcopal Preaching Foundation.   This 12-week program is now available at no charge to you or your parishioners, thanks to a grant from The Compelling Preaching Initiative of the Lilly Endowment.

Sermon Roundtable is an exciting new offering from the Episcopal Preaching Foundation that supports parish clergy and lay preachers in their preaching, while simultaneously providing opportunities for adult formation and pastoral connection within the parish. (Note that, although the Roundtable lay participants provide input and feedback, the preacher will still write and preach the sermons.)

Each of the eight training modules starts with an hour of independent work that is preparation for a 90-minute group session. For the group sessions, the preacher acts as the facilitator, using easy-to-follow Leaders’ Guides that accompany the on-line materials. For parishes with multiple regular preachers, groups can be co-facilitated and/or the meeting structure can be adapted to fit your needs. The modular nature of the program even allows motivated facilitators to customize the course structure and content.

After the eight-week training phase is completed, the group moves into the implementation phase, applying what they have learned. Roundtable groups are designed to meet weekly to provide feedback on last Sunday’s sermon and discuss the Bible readings for the coming Sunday. In preparing the upcoming Sunday’s sermon, the preacher can then draw from the Roundtable discussion for inspiration. Subsequent feedback, offered in a supportive and caring manner, allows the preacher to learn what techniques and approaches work best for their specific faith community.

This program can be easily adapted to the individual parish context; parishes in the program do not move in lock-step. The leader and participants choose the date their program starts and the day of the week the Roundtable meets. A group might decide to break for a week or two and extend the twelve-week schedule. The program meetings can be adjusted for specific liturgical seasons or to meet the need of the parish calendar. When the twelve weeks of program materials end, the group can choose what comes next: continue as a feedback and lectionary study group with the same members, or start again with a new group.

Interested in learning more about the program? Fill out our contact form, and we’ll be in touch!