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EMMAUS: Lay Preaching for the Occasional Preacher (Spring Session)

Program Description

Using “A Lay Preacher’s Guide: How to Craft a Faithful Sermon” by Karoline M. Lewis, Pastor Jon Mapa will walk the occasional preacher through the book and provide the tools needed to be a good preacher. This online course will cover the basic elements of a good gospel-centered sermon, and provide conversational space and practical tips for preaching. Participants will be encouraged to craft a sermon and share with the group for feedback.

This is a 5-session course offered online using Zoom. Each 90-minute session will include a conversation about the assigned chapters in the book with added insights from Pastor Jon Mapa.

  • Week 1 – Course overview, A Faithful Sermon is Biblical (NOTE: ‘Introduction’ and ‘A Faithful Sermon is Biblical’ should be read before the first class)
  • Week 2 – A Faithful Sermon is Autobiographical and Contextual
  • Week 3 – A Faithful Sermon is Theological and Intellectual
  • Week 4 – A Faithful Sermon is Inspirational Emotional
  • Week 5 – A Faithful Preaching Life


Rev. Jon Mapa recently retired from serving as Assistant to the Bishop serving in western Nebraska. Prior to serving on synod staff, he served as Pastor of American Lutheran Church in Gothenburg and has been served as Dean of the Pony Express Cluster and on the Nebraska Synod Council. He is an artist, storyteller, and musician with a heart for preaching and teaching. Those who have worked with Pastor Jon have affirmed his skills as a good teacher and strong, faithful preacher. Pastor Jon lives in Blue Earth, Minnesota with wife retired Pastor Carol Mapa.

Participant Quote:

“Being called to ministry is a path many have reservations to pursue.  This class picks a scripture to study for five weeks and develops a spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and real world connection between those in the class and our congregation.  Classes are filled with humor, insight, and a God filled presence of a message full of His love and direction.  I encourage anyone who has trouble writing or presenting a message, who is new to preaching the Gospel, or needs to be refreshed on presenting a sermon, to sign up for this class.”  -Dale Hansen — Lay preacher Christ Lutheran Church Wisner

Class Details:

Dates: Tuesdays – April 25, May 2, 9, 16, 23

Time: 7:30-9:00PM Central/6:30-8:00 PM Mountain

Format: This is an online Zoom course. Links will be emailed in advance. Space is limited to 12.

Materials: All links and additional materials will be emailed to participants in advance.

Target Audience: This Emmaus: Lifelong Learning course is designed for the occasional preacher asked to preach when a pastor is out of town, special occasions, and the lay person is sensing a call to preach. Congregations utilizing the gifts of the occasional lay preachers are encouraged to support interested students.

*This course is not a substitute for the PMA preaching course nor continuing education credit for PMAs.


  • Course fee $25/person plus the cost of the book.

Registration Deadline: April 21, 2023 – No refunds after April 21, 2023.

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