Now we have come to the point of implementing what we have written. It is now the time to get ready and preach what we learned from our study. In this chapter, we will talk about the things to prepare before preaching and the things to remember and to while preaching.
Preparing Your Sermon Manuscript
Some pastors don’t prepare sermon manuscripts. All they do is to write the outline of their sermon. However, I would still recommend that you write a sermon manuscript because if you use to write it, you can still use it for many other things such as blogging, documentation of sermons by your Church, and book writing in the future.
These manuscripts can be a good source of knowledge in the future. As for my experience, I used my manuscripts in my blogs, authored ebooks, training disciples, and even writing books. These sermon manuscripts can be useful more than you can imagine.
Being now in the modern world, the use of computer now is almost a necessity. This is why I strongly suggest that you encode your sermon manuscripts and print it if you know how to use the computer, at least for typing purposes. This will enable you to save a hard copy of the hardwork that you just did. Furthermore, the digital format of your manuscript can be used for blogging, making ebooks, and even starting a future book.
What to Wear in Preaching?
About 15-20 years ago, most preachers would still prefer and sometimes will not preach unless they are wearing long sleeves, coat and tie. In the Philippines, most pastors will wear “Barong” in their preaching engagement.
Today, some new breed of preachers doesn’t pay too muc attention in the clothes they wear. I have seen preachers who preaches wearing a T-shirt, Jeans with some slashes on it, and a Sneaker style of shoes. It seems that wearing respectable clothes are no longer important for the young generation of preachers.
However, as for personal advice, I think wearing respectable clothes is still a lot better and more dignified for a preacher. We have to remember that as preachers, we are delivering God’s word. We are not just mere persons who were called out of the blue to deliver the message. Most preachers in our days now were ordained, which means they are expected to be more respectable performing their duties as pastors.
I also believe that wearing the best clothes that we have in preaching is a show of respect to the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Posture, Gesture and Voice
In delivering your sermon, there are three main things that you have to remember.
Good Posture. Since grades school, good posture is being thought in the school. Not only in the way we sit and walk, but also in the way we stand. A preacher (granted that he doesn’t have any deformities) must learn how to stand erect but normally.
Standing erect doesn’t mean that you must stand like a soldier, it just mean that you have to learn how to stand in a dignified way. A good poise puts the audience at ease. A preacher who acts awkwardly, seems to be uneasy, or stiff, will also make his hearers uneasy. We have to remember that we are infront, and psychologically how we appear infront of our audience also affects their perception about us. In addition, a preacher ought to act with freedom and ease maintaining a good poisture.
Gestures are the things that we act normally. There is no fix rules on gestures like the good posture. But whatever we do infront should be normal, not offending. One good rule is to “be natural”. There is no greater thing to be like in delivering the sermon than to be natural in delivering it.
Some preachers especially those who are still practicing to be one, tend to forceably act faking his gestures which also draw attention to his audience. A preacher needs to learn how to incorporate his normal gestures with his sermon as if they are one.
Avoid mannerisms. Things like swinging your arms unnecessarily, scratching your head, standing at one feet, are forms of mannerisms. Things like these are not good to look in front.
Voice should be loud enough to be heard by all, this is the main rule of thumb in your voice. Most churches now use microphones which is already a big help for the preachers. But there are churches that do not have any sound systems especially in churches that you will find in rural areas where the only instruments that they have is the guitar. If you’ll be preaching in churches like this, I suggest that you follow the rule of thumb.
If possible changing tones of voice to give a strong emphasis to the main points will be very helpful. Monotone preaching is boring to hear and will look like a classroom lecture type. Preachers should practice the changing of tones so that the atmosphere during preaching will be alive and your audience attentive.
Taking Care of Time
In Biblical times, especially during the time of Moses, it probably took them hours and hours whenever Moses speaks with the Israelites about the Law. Jesus teaches people for hours, and there were even incidents that it even falls at night time.
In the post-modern world however, most preaching has a limited time. An average preaching time in a church is about 30-45 minutes. In addition, the average tolerable time for your audience to listen to you attentively is of the same time.
A too short sermon will leave your hearers hanging while a too long sermon will distract your audience to boredom. So you may want to really take care of time.
Here’s a sample time budget for a sermon. Granted, that you have a 3 point sermon;
Introduction 2 minutes
Point 1 3 minutes
Illustration 2 minutes
Point 2 3
Point 3 3
Total minutes 30 minutes
Please note that the time can still be stretch to about 40-45 minutes. This is just an average presentation of what you can do for your sermon time budget.
Do’s and Don’ts While Preaching
Here are the things that you should remember while delivering your sermon.
- Always maintain a good poisture while standing in front of the pulpit.
- Maintain a good eye contact so that your audience will feel that you are talking to them. Having a good eye contact will help make your hearers attentive all through out your sermon.
- Make your voice loud enough that people behind are able to hear it.
- Avoid mannerisms as much as possible. Mannerisms can distract your audience and will make them feel uncomfortable.
- Do not use vulgar illustrations especially that touches about sex.
- Do not use vulgar words for no matter how acceptable it is in the community, it is always not acceptable in delivering the word of God.
- Do not confess in front of the people that you haven’t studied so much, or you are not having devotions anymore. Doing this is humiliating yourself in public because you are expected to deliver God’s message yet, God’s word is not true to your life. Therefore, your audience doesn’t have any reason to listen to you. Furthermore, preaching time is not a time for preacher’s confession.
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|Preaching: The Art of Narrative Exposition
By Calvin Miller / Baker
Dr. Miller’s ability to craft words that capture the imagination of hearts has been apparent for a generation. He is rightly concerned that this new generation of seekers and sojourners is not connecting with the timeless truths of Scripture. He challenges preachers and pastors to learn how to connect with the current culture and shows how this is possible. Do you want to learn the art of storytelling from a master? Dr. Miller can show you.Preaching Magazine has honored Preaching: the Art of Narrative Exposition as the 2007 Book of Year.
Dr. Calvin Miller is Professor of Preaching and Pastoral Ministry at Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, AL. He has written over forty books.
|Biblical Preaching, Second Edition
By Haddon Robinson / Baker
Haddon Robinson’s Biblical Preaching has become a modern classic on the preparation and delivery of expository sermons. Much has changed, however, in twenty years and Robinson has undertaken the task of updating his work to benefit a new generation of preachers who will speak to a markedly different world.
While retaining the original outline of the book and Robinson’s ten-stage process of sermon development, this new edition offers significant improvements. Many of the illustrations and arguments have been updated, the prose has been changed to gender-inclusive language, each chapter is enhanced with suggestions for further study, and the discussions of narrative and inductive preaching have been expanded.
|Preparing Expository Sermons: A Seven-Step Method for Biblical Preaching
By Ramesh Richard / Baker
“The Bible is what God has made. Sermons are what we make with what God has made.” This is the foundation for developing expository messages, according to Ramesh Richard. His method has been field-tested in training seminars for thousands of preachers around the world. Richard’s book is a simple do-it-yourself resource for developing and preaching expository sermons. It guides the reader through a seven -step process, with many practical suggestions and illustrative charts along the way. In addition, there are eleven appendixes that include information on: how to choose a text; preaching narratives; understanding your audience; and forms of sermon introduction. A comprehensive sermon evaluation questionnaire is included as well. This book is an updated and expanded version of Scripture Sculpture, is ideal for beginning preachers, lay preachers without formal training, or any pastor who is looking for a refresher course in expository sermon preparation.