Auckland Ecumenical Lay Preachers Gathering

Preaching to our various learning styles

On the 3rd May 2019 Marilyn Welch gave a huge insight into how our individual learning styles are so diverse.  Our first question to answer was “What words come to mind when you hear the word ‘preaching’?”  Each one of us wrote a list and each list did not contain the same words as the person sitting next to us.

Then we were challenged by further questioning.  What were your learning experiences like at school?  What frustrates you in a learning experience?  Is it that you can’t hear what the speaker is saying?  Is the delivery, what is being said, far from clear in content and volume?  Is the person speaking too fast and not giving you thinking time to assimilate what is being said?

We played a game: shock horror!  However, the outcome revealed that by only being given three rules we could achieve far more than we’d ever imagined.  We pooled our ideas and so ways to achieve were diverse but opened our eyes to different routes to success.  We had to go through this process to realise that we as adults tend to over- think!


Marilyn introduced us to the work of Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970’s: people tend to have a primary representational system, through which they process information.  We examined the visual , auditory ,and Kinaesthetic  learning cycles and then went on to examine the Experiential Learning Cycle.  We learnt to identify our own style of learning in depth.

We were reminded that our congregations also have diversity in their styles of learning.  Should more people be involved in worship?  A “hands-on” experience for a kinaesthetic approach?  Andrew Gammon’s “Ten Minutes on a Tuesday” on the Methodist Website uses “Stations” where people move around the church to experience tactile interactions.  Some of the congregation will want to know the relevance, but if we operate out of only our own learning style then we are not meeting the needs of  each individual member of the congregation.

It’s the various personalities that we meet: there are those who are imaginative and ask “why?” and require reasons; those who are Analytical ask “What?” and require facts; those who ask “How?” and display common sense patterns; and those who ask “What if?” and perceive the bigger picture.

Once our learning styles had been revealed to each one of us we were put into groups containing four people, one of each learning style.  We then planned a service together.  The ideas were wide and implicit to including our preferred learning styles: this ensured that the planned service included all.  It would be so uplifting if each church had a worship group who planned a service and took ownership of it with the variety of learning styles.  We can now see the value of sitting down with others to prepare a service.

Marilyn has made us question why we do, what we do and how we do it  each week when leading worship.  In our approaches to planning future Services we will have a sensitivity to others learning styles through what we’ve learnt today!

Linda Hall, NZLPA Correspondence Secretary


Auckland Ecumenical Lay Preachers Gathering – 11 May 2019

A Date to put in your diary:

Saturday 11 May 2019
–  9.30am-12.30pm  –

St Paul’s Methodist Church
St Vincent Avenue, Remuera

Cost – $10.00

Workshop/Presentation by:  Rev Marilyn Welch

“Each of us takes in information differently.  Yet sermons are usually written and delivered as if we all the same.  This workshop will help you understand your learninglearning-style and the way you process information and, together with others who have different styles, create a worship experience that will be meaningful for most members of your congregation.”

Please register your attendance by
3 May
with Linda Hall

Phone: 09 521 5360

Please bring a plate



Lay Preaching Basics – by Rosalie Sugrue

Rosalie writes: “I have been concerned for some time that with less ordained clergy along with many parishes less able to employ full-time ministers, a heavier load than ever is being put on lay people to lead worship, many having to do so without training or mentoring. To help with this situation I have written a book that rolled off the printing press last week. Lay Preaching Basics – a Practical Guide for Leading Worship covers the nuts and bolts basics of what a lay preacher needs to know concerning the Bible and preparing services along with sample services and prayer resources. It is a book that would be useful for every preaching place to have ready to hand as it addresses all manner of preaching emergencies as well as supplying Bible information useful to any study group. In my section on additional resources I promote Word & Worship and the NZLPA website.”

Chapter headings include:
1 — Help! The Preacher hasn’t arrived
2 — Introduction to the Gospels
3 — Essential Background Knowledge
4 — Making Reflections Memorable
5 — Making Services Meaningful
6 — How to organise a church service
7 — Lectionary and Liturgy
8 — How to prepare a reflection (sermon)
9 — Service sheets and PowerPoints
10 — The Preacher’s Satchel
11 — Children’s Time / Family Time
12 — Circle and Cafe style services
13 — Services for rest homes
14 — Devotions: Ideas to build on
15 — Complete Service Samples
16 — Sample ‘Family Time’ slots
17 — Sample Cafe Services
18 — Ideas for Devotions, Family Time and Less Formal Services
19 — Sample Prayers
20 — Theology Guides for the 21st Century
21 — Additional Worship Resources

The book is available in paperback format from the publisher, Philip Garside Publishing Ltd, and a Kindle edition is available at  It is also available directly from the author, using the form below, which can also be downloaded here.

Lay Preaching Basics


Auckland Ecumenical Lay Preachers Gathering

Date:  Saturday 7 July – 9.30am-12.30pm

Venue:  St John’s College, 202-210 St Johns Road
Auckland 1072

“Life And All Its Emotions”
Preaching from the Psalms, with Lynne J. Wall

“An insight into the NZLPA”
with Linda Hall

Linda will share the Objectives of the Association and some good news
stories of events held recently.

It will also be an opportunity for Lay Preachers to
ask questions,
express their views,
and identify how the Executive can be of most help to our members.

calendarCost:  $10.00 – pay on the day
Please bring a plate for a shared Morning Tea
Plenty of parking

Please email Linda to secure a place

Download an A4 poster for your noticeboard!

Preaching in a Cultural Context

Course offered by Laidlaw College
Tuesday evenings at its Manukau campus

564.615/715 Preaching in a Cultural Context

15 credits at NQF Level 6 or 7
Semester 2, 2018
Tuesday evenings: 6-9pm starting on July 17.


Through this course, students will identify trends in culture and explore modes of communication likely to be effective in a variety of cultural contexts. Students will examine how narrative functions to create meaning, and learn how to engage, interpret,  apply, and incarnate the Biblical text in faithful, creative, and prophetic ways. Special attention will be given to the link between theology of the church and preaching. Using a  collaborative environment, we will seek to nurture the heart and head of the preacher as well as the art and craft of preaching.

The course facilitator is Reuben Munn, who is an experienced preacher, teacher and pastor at Shore Community Church.

Students may enrol in the course for credit in a Laidlaw programme, for credit for just the course through a Certificate of Proficiency, or in a limited number of non-formal (not for credit) places.

To apply for the course go to the link below,
or contact us on 0800 999 777 or
to talk to someone in person.

Dr Stephen Garner
Head of School
School of Theology
Laidlaw College

Phone +64 9 836 7800
Fax +64 9 836 7801

Laidlaw College
Henderson Campus
80 Central Park Drive, Henderson
Private Bag 93104, Henderson
Auckland 0650, Aotearoa New Zealand

Introduction to Preaching – Christchurch

Theology House
Introduction to Preaching Course 2018

Offered at Theology House
Harewood, Christchurch 8051


Six Tuesday evenings for beginning or budding preachers
7:30pm to 9:15pm
29 May, 5, 12, 19, 26 June, 3 July

Maximum eight places – minimum five students to proceed

Course co-ordinator: Peter Carrell
Assisting tutors: Nick Mountfort and Stephanie Robson

Cost: $60
(Canterbury LPA Members – let Garth or Linda know if you plan to attend
If you want help with fees, contact the CLPA)

Required for acceptance: an endorsement from your
Vicar or Priest in Charge or Senior Minister

Enquiries/registration: Claire Bonner
by 5pm on Friday 4 May 2018

Preaching workshop – Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin

Carey Baptist College’s “School of Preaching” and “Kiwimade Preaching” are holding three one-day preaching workshops in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin (24–26 May) with Rev Dr Paul Windsor.

Cost includes morning tea, afternoon tea, and lunch. Further details are available here.

And you can download and print an A5 flyer for the event here.

Seminar Programme

9.30 – 11.00     Unpacking the word: ten resting places
11.30 – 1.00     Unpacking the world: ten arresting pictures
1.45 – 3.00       Word and world: a case study
3.30 – 4.30       Model sermon and interaction

The first session will take a fresh look at ten key biblical passages to help us unpack the Scriptures.

The second session will assemble ten biblical images or pictures that can serve as a checklist for preachers when exegeting the world or the culture of their listeners.

In the afternoon we will move from theory to practise.

In the final session Paul will preach a sermon, and there will be opportunity for lots of interaction.