Preaching: Nervous or not?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by TomVols, May 20, 2008.

  1. TomVols

    TomVols
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    I've heard it said that if a preacher isn't nervous when he steps into the pulpit, he shouldn't preach, that the nerves come from fear and trembling. Conversely, I've read where John MacArthur says that if you're nervous, don't bother trying to preach, because a proclaimer of the Word has nothing to be afraid of.

    What side are you on?
     
  2. dh1948

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    Not Nervous

    When I was a novice preacher...some 34 years ago, I often got nervous when I preached to a large crowd.

    It's been a long time since I have been nervous while preaching...regardless of the crowd size.
     
  3. PK

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    Always nervous at first then I think about the message at hand.
     
  4. LeBuick

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    Ditto... Always nervous for the first bit...
     
  5. Trotter

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    I am nervous up until I begin. After that, completely calm. Even while preaching I normally don't get nervous, but I will sometimes feel the hair stand up on th eback on my neck when the Spirit is moving.
     
  6. Bible Believing Bill

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    I am nervous as I am waiting to start, but once I get going I don't notice being nervous. I have been told that I never appear nervous at all.


    Bill
     
  7. Cutter

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    After 30 years of preaching my nervousness is down to about zero.
     
  8. Whowillgo

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    I am usually nervous until I get out of God's way.
     
  9. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I agree with the general tenor. Crowd size makes no difference, but I am usually a little nervous until I turn it over to the Holy Spirit and submit to His direction.
     
  10. 4His_glory

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    Generally no I am not nervous. But I try to always approach the pulpit humbly realizing the preciousness of the Word of God is deserving so much better a presentation than I am capable of giving. Admittedly, as a sinner, that does not always happen.

    Nervous no, fearful yes- if that makes any sense. I think there should be an overwhelming holy awe of the task that God lays before us each week.
     
  11. exscentric

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    Outwardly, seldom nervous, however gastric speaking, nervous even after 30+ years. Always have stomach trouble.

    Only one time that I was very nervous outwardly, I was asked to fill in at our church. Prepared, was all ready and while sitting waiting to preach it dawned on me that several of my ex professors and the president of the school were sitting in the congregation. The thoughts raced through my mind as to whether I had prepared the proper text, etc. then also dawned on me that it was the Holy Spirit that had been leading and assisting - nerves were history.

    Now, in old age some of the medications I am on tend to raise my nervous level and I do get outwardly nervous, but as others when I get into the message all goes well.
     
  12. Tom Bryant

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    I don't get nervous when speaking at our church, but I did a few years ago when I spoke at the Florida Baptist State Convention. Just before going up to speak, I thought I was going to throw up. But as soon as I started, the nerves were gone.

    But what I do feel is anticipation in the pit of my stomach. Thinking about what God is going to do in the lives of people sometimes gives me a flutter in the stomach.
     
  13. gb93433

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    I agree with both statements. When we stand before a holy God we ought to be nervous and trembling with fear hoping that what we are about to deliver is right. We also ought to have prayed and sought God in such that we have every reason to be humble and confident as God's servant.
     
  14. PilgrimPastor

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    I have found that being nervous has a lot to do with how well I have prepared. I spend a significant amount of time in study these days in preparation for a sermon. While I don't stick to the notes so much, I tend to stray from them a bit, but building the notes helps me prepare my thoughts and seek the Lord as to their content.

    When I first started preaching I felt like Pastors who spoke from prepared notes were limiting the spirit... but can't God inspire the preparation of the sermon just as much as the delivery? I get a little excited before preaching a sermon but I don't get nervous any more and not because I am not concerned about being faithful to the text!
     
  15. LeBuick

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    yes, most definately... I know many a good manuscript preachers...
     
  16. David Lamb

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    Not nervous in the sense of "frightened". However, I think it can be more unnerving to preach to a very small congregation (no, not midgets, but small in number! :laugh: ) I think it may be the difference between seeing a sea of faces, and a small group of individuals. I am not explaining this very well, but I hope you see what I mean.
     
  17. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Understand 100% . On a "good" Sunday we will have 35 or so in church. I get to see every facial expression, every response, and every nap :).
     
  18. StefanM

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    Most definitely. It is more difficult for me to preach to a smaller crowd. I honestly think I would do fine preaching to thousands, but preaching to 15 might give me butterflies.
     
  19. Brother Bob

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    Coming before an all wise God, yes I am nervous. The ground we stand upon is Holy Ground and we should approach it nervous and meek, and in our weakness God shows His strength. Just my opinion,

    BBob,
     
  20. Rubato 1

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    I stand firmly on the fence-post (in fact, that should be my new username...:D). Blanket statements are often ridiculous; often a balance of two extremes is the reasonable station.

    Nervousness is reasonable, considering the task and its ramifications; calmness is reasonable, as the HS has promised to guide and direct...
     

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