First Sermon

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by thebrain72, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. thebrain72

    thebrain72
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    Good morning, I hope today finds everyone well.

    I have a question in regards to folks first sermon they preached.

    I received a call last night from a man who is the acting interim pastor at a church in our local area, he is aware that I am a seminary student, and he called me last night to ask if I would fill the pulpit for him this Sunday as he needs to attend his granddaughters dedication.

    After much prayer I believe I should do this, and a dear friend of mine reminded me that faith is the first step of obedience. Obviously I am somewhat apprehensive, since I have never "preached" before. I have taught Sunday School to different age groups, classes I had never been in before, etc., and my type of teaching is very similar to preaching when I get a classroom full of people that don't interact. :)

    Anything that anyone has to offer would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Brian
     
  2. TomVols

    TomVols
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    Are you called to preach? Are you called to a ministry of pastor/elder?

    I'm just curious - no offense intended - because you seemed hesitant to take the offer to preach.

    That said, let me also ask what it is that you're wanting to know. Help on how to construct a sermon? Help on what to do next? Recollections from our first sermons?

    thanks! :thumbs:
     
  3. Jkdbuck76

    Jkdbuck76
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    Advice?

    Prayer! I'll pray for you, brother. And I'm sure many others here will.

    And you need to pray that the Lord will use you.

    God will use you and work thru you if you ask Him to.
     
  4. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    I work on the three point principle. 1. State your case; 2. Reiterate your case; 3. Summarize your case.

    I write my sermons in full and then make shorter notes in point form. I try to use alliteration. It is easier to remember, both for the preacher and the listener.

    Experience: I wrote my first sermon in full, designed to last about 20 minutes. The pulpit was portable on top of a desk. I approached the pulpit, placed my notes on it, and gripped the sides with as firm a grip as possible. I then proceeded to preach. It was done in about ten minutes, and I could not release my grip. I decided to announce a hymn, turned to the side to pick up the hymnal and instantly dropped the entire lecturn on the floor. The people smiled politely. I announced the hymn and closed the service with prayer. Shortest service I ever conducted. Amazingly, I was invited back the following Sunday.

    First sermons can be quite an experience. Just remember that Moses was not elequent; Paul had a speech impediment; Peter was impetuous, and we all have our own peculuarities. Be true to yourself and don't try to copy others. As Luther advised; stand up; speak up and shut up.

    Cheers, and God bless,

    Jim

    PS. Your congregation may be more nervous than you!
     
  5. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    Obviously, you're going to pray about it. But I would decide what to preach by getting a passage of Scripture, determine what it is saying and then apply it to the lives of your audience.

    Make certain you know who you are going to be preaching to. Will they be a saved audience? Will there be unsaved people there? I preach differently on Sunday night with people I know give testimony of salvation than I do on Sunday morning when we have unsaved present.

    Don't change the style of teaching right now. Your style of preaching will develop as you preach more. Since you have taught more, let that be the method of presentation.
     
  6. thebrain72

    thebrain72
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    No offense taken TomVols, I was hesitant because I have never preached before and it is to a congregation that I don't know (which may be a blessing).

    I have been attending seminary working on a Bachelors in religious studies since Jan. 2006. I know that I am being called into the ministry but I don't believe that the Lord has given me an exact direction yet; however, I do believe that it is either teaching or preaching.

    I have an idea for a sermon, I have been keeping a "list" of ideas for a while now, and one of them came immediately to mind after I got over the initial shock of the phone call, and I keep coming back to that idea.

    Mainly, I would like to hear some recollections of folk’s first sermon.

    Thanks again for the prayers and replies, and I would appreciate your continued prayer support.

    Brian
     
  7. Bro. Williams

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    Double post.
     
    #7 Bro. Williams, Aug 14, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2007
  8. Bro. Williams

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    Thanks for the reminder... I have not thought of my first sermon in years... if it could even be called that now. Very funny now, thinking back about it.

    I was just a freshman in high school when asked to preach first. What did I preach about? I preached about Jesus of course, and about salvation... it was all I knew!

    It is a good thing that was the message though, now that I think about it. At the time I was attending a Christian Church - a branch of the Disciples of Christ and Church of Christ. That is exactly what those water dogs needed!

    What a blessing though.. it brings joy to my heart and tears to my eyes to think that I have scarcely been without an oppurtunity to preach since that day... and how at times I have taken that for granted. The labourers are few for certain...
     
    #8 Bro. Williams, Aug 14, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2007
  9. LeBuick

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    I preached my first sermon at 5 years old. I stood on a chair so I could be seen behind the rostrum. My entire sermon was, "God is good"... I then took my seat and the doors of the Church were opened.

    My advice is not to take too much meat to the pulpit. Save some for future sermons. Get you a solid point and make your case. Sounds like the Lord has been working with you and placing His message in your heart. Don't let your words (lower case w) over shadow his Word (capitol W).

    I once saw a first sermon where the preacher came with his Matthew Henry. I say saw because that was the most I got from it. About 45 minutes into the reading a wind blew through the window and he lost his page. I realized at that time, God does answer prayer...

    Preach from your heart and heaven will rejoice.
     
  10. jshurley04

    jshurley04
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    Sermons

    I remember my first sermon and it actually went a little long, about 40 minutes. I took some things from my own real life and used them to illustrate how we are sometimes hesitant to let go of what we know so God can bless us with something better.

    Remember that the sermon of a visiting preacher should not be longer than what the people are accustomed to and should not be so short that it feels like a devotion. Don't wait until the last minute to prepare, get it done a few days early so that you can meditate on it. This will allow you to not be so note tied and you can actually speak from the heart. Take time to actually preach your sermon in front of a mirror several times and watch your own motions and expressions. Preach it in front of a few friends so they can give you a few pointers

    The whole point is that you don't want to be so green that the greenness is actually a distraction to the sermon. They will know that you are a young preacher because there is no way to hide it, the lack of polish will show. So try to get some of the rough stuff taken care of before you acutally preach the first time. A sermon is just like prayer, it is simply a conversation between two people. That is over simplified but it is still true, you are just having a conversation.

    Remember that you are not a 50 year preaching veteran, this was pointed out to me once. You are not an authority on anything except what the Word of God says, so ignore your opinion and your thoughts because they are not the Word of God. I was confronted when I made this mistake and it was put to me, in love, that who did I think I was compared to the Word of God, they don't care about me or my opinions so just stick to what God says in His word.

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. Bro. Williams

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    I will support the theme of that last post as well.

    One of the first things I learned about preaching was, stay away from the "I's". (I think, I believe, I etc.). Stick with, "the Bible says".
     
  12. bobbyd

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    My first sermon was at Hot Coffee Baptist Church in Hot Coffee, MS (real place and kind of fitting seeing my love of the Java!) in 1992 while serving on a BSU ministry team. I had the 2nd service of a morning/afternoon program with an eatin' meetin' in the middle.
    My text was the Beatitudes and my lone source of commentary was a book by Chuck Swindoll that had some great explanations for each of the verses.

    Hopefully i've come a long way since then.

    As for the apprehension, it is fitting. In fact, i would love to go back to those days when i always had butterflies in my stomach before taking the pulpit.

    be God's!
     
  13. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    I preached my first sermon in 1995 and I was scared to death. I was dripping with sweat I was so nervous. I preached on Hebrews 12:1-3 and I was so afraid of only having about 5 mins worth of material that I had so much material that I probably could have preached a 3 week series.

    I wish you well on your first sermon. Make sure you are preaching what the Word says, and not your opinion.
     
  14. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    We continue to share a lot in common. I too preached my first sermon in 1995; I too was scared and dripped sweat all over the place; but I preached from Eph 5:15-17, "Redeeming the Time." I can't remember how long it lasted, but I had 10mins., but I finised before it was up.
     
  15. thebrain72

    thebrain72
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    Thank ya'll very much for the advice and the stories.

    I have decided on my message and have about 1/2 of my notes complete, I am looking forward to doing it, however, I am sure I will be nervous Sunday morning. There are many people praying for me and I know that is making a difference.

    I will let everyone know how it goes.

    Thanks again,
    Brian
     
  16. Joseph M. Smith

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    My first sermon was preached in 1958, and my pastor, the late J. Herbert Gilmore, Jr., insisted that I memorize it and not use any notes during its delivery. So I wrote and rehearsed and rewrote and rehearsed, probably 25 times, trying to get a verbatim text into my brain. When the time came, I recited ... that's what it was ... the first point just fine. But I could not recall the second point .. turned to my younger brother, who was in the choir, and quipped to him, "What's next, you've heard this thing many times?". Naturally he went, "Duh ,.. huh", so I did the third point, remembered and recited the second point, wrapped it up somehow, and since that day have always, always taken my notes into the pulpit. I seldom have to look at them, but they are there for reassurance.

    Brother, not only are the folks right who have told you to explore and find out and preach what the Bible is teaching, but make it human too. Do not hesitate to give your own life experiences that may illustrate whatever point you are trying to make, as long as those stories do not overwhelm the text or exalt you as a great saint. Better that they should show you in your incompleteness.

    And not too complex. Some preachers outline I A 1 2 B 1 2 II A 1 2 B 1 2 3 III etc. No, just I, II, III is all that your hearers can take in.
     
  17. PastorSBC1303

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    I would second this thought as well. I have always had issues with outlines that were too detailed. Stay simple with your outline and it will help both you and the hearers.
     
  18. Jkdbuck76

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    Yep. Your outline has to work for you, but if you hand one out, it has to be simple.
    3 or 4 points are good.

    Slow down when you talk. And annunciate. Get your mouth to form the words.
    It is "WAH-Tehrr" and not "waddah". It "OH- BAH-DIE-AH" not "Ob-diuh".
     
  19. Joseph M. Smith

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    And it's likely better not to attempt to preach from Obadiah just yet! :tonofbricks:
     
  20. tinytim

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    My first message was the first Sunday night of June, in 1995 also...
    I preached on Luke 12... The passage on worrying.

    One teen got saved that night, and I found out last yr that another girl about 8 yrs old at that time went home and got saved after telling her mom and dad that something I said in the sermon made her want to be saved...

    I was soooo nervous that night... But it was one of my favorite days in my life..
     

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