Poll: Preaching Without Notes

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Feb 24, 2002.

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Poll: Preaching Without Notes

  1. I usually preach without any notes

    18.8%
  2. I usually preach with the message fully written out

    50.0%
  3. I usually preach with a detailed 3-4 page outline

    21.9%
  4. I usually preach with a 3x5 card or so

    9.4%
  5. I usually preach with a few notes in my Bible margin

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Some say it is more "spiritual" to preach using only the Bible; others would have serious memory problems if they did not have a detailed outline. Where do YOU fit in?
     
  2. blackbird

    blackbird
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    Would a Executive present to his company a multi-million dollar contract/presentation--without using a single note for direction?
     
  3. DocCas

    DocCas
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    Does he have the gift of "Executive/Presentation?" :D
     
  4. TomVols

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    I know some preachers who take a full manuscript into the pulpit with them and they never look at it. I know some preachers who take only a Bible with them but never look up from it. The key is eye contact, whether you have notes or not.
     
  5. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    I would certainly be in the former category Tom.

    I've found that my sermons are much better if I take the time to think through each paragraph in advance. Likewise, I feel that if the Holy Spirit can inspire and speak through me for a few minutes; just think how much more work the Holy Spirit can do during a week's worth of reading and writing.

    In addition, I want to make sure that I address pastoral care issues or specific needs within the congregation. I could easily skip those or make significant theological/pastoral goofs speaking off the cuff. Planning it out creates a much more carefully crafted, cohesive, theologically responsible product.

    BUT, as a listener I can't stand to be read to. I despise it, actually. So, I have the manuscript in front of me; but do not follow it verbatim. It provides the framework for my conversation with the congregation (and I think we can all agree that even the most non-verbal of congregations speak to us constantly during our sermons); but it is not the transcript.

    Joshua
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    That's why I opt for 3-4 pages of "sentence" outline. It helps me to craft the wording and phrasing and yet not stifle my "informal" pulpit style. (I walk around a lot, and bang the microphones if cramped behind a pulpit).

    Can't imagine NOT having key thoughts spelled out clearly and succinctly to aid presentation.
     
  7. PreacherDave

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    I have often gone to the pulpit with 3-4 pages of notes in an outline to capture my mind and keep focus. But, just as often I find myself deviating from my notes and preaching extemporaneously. When this occurs I find the presentation of the scripture much more cogent. My notes and previous hours of study have aided me, coming out of points worked within my heart. The illustrations then come from my congregation as I know them and also from my own life experience.
     
  8. dfd2

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    What I do is have one page. usually the outline that i give the congregation, and I add the main points and illustrations of what i want to speak on. Ill use a one word title for the illustration used etc... I always write out the sermon in full but only take up the one sheet with me.
     
  9. Maverick

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    Actually, I have done a bit of all them from time to time. If I am doing a section of Scripture that is my outline and I do not need an outline to keep me on track. I have had the full sermon in front of me during times that I taught the Sunday night Bible Study because I gave everyone a copy so they could go home and study and check up on me. In college, we were not allowed to have anything but 3X5 cards. I do have notes in my margins and carry outlines with me for those opportunites that materialize 5-10 minutes before I am to preach. I have done the let's see what the preacher really knows where folks call out a passage and I preach 5 minutes on that passage before someone gives another.

    I do not know if there is any spirituality to be assigned to any method. As long as you are preaching the truth and properly exegeting the passage who cares if you have a photographic memory or use something to keep you on track and within your time limits?

    So many things can distract you in a service that sometimes it is good to have that outline. I had a deacon come up in the middle of a message to tell the congregation about someone's lights being on. It turned out to be someone from the church next door. Fortunately, the Lord allowed me to keep my train of thought and everyone was amazed that I could just rol on without skipping a beat.

    Your method is your method. Just get the job done and let God do the spirituality rating on you. He used Johnathan Edwards who read his full text in a montone with the paper in his face to start a revival. He can use you as well with or without notes. Anyone that fusses about you notes better be able to stand up and give a 30 minute message without them. If not, they need to hush up!
     

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