Preaching Without Notes

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by USN2Pulpit, Jan 19, 2004.

  1. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Hey there all...

    Anyone know of any good resources to figure out preaching without the use of notes?

    There are times that I feel enslaved to the notes I've written, or I don't want to get to far away from the lecturn. Any suggestions on preparation & technique would be welcome.
     
  2. Jim1999

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    Few men can preach without notes, and some would be well advised to read their entire sermon. A danger of not having notes is a loss of coherency and getting long winded. Anyone can preach 45 minutes when he has nothing to say. It take study and practice to say much, much more in just twenty minutes.

    Early on, I decided to makem good use of alliteration. In writing the sermon, I worked on three or four main points, Under each point, I listed subpoints, elaborating on the main point. This is what I take into the pulpit...just the outline. Practice, practice, practice and a conviction that you indeed have the message for the day.

    A good book about preachers and preaching is Preaching and Preachers by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. It was written in 1971 and has gone through more than 7 printings.

    Cheers, and good preaching

    Jim

    57 years at the craft
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    I don't have the 57 years that Jim has, but I have learned that a fairly full manuscript is best for me. It keeps me from saying the same thing over week after week; it forces me to think through what I am going to say before I say it.

    I think too many preachers preach with too few notes, IMHO. The lack of notes usually means they ramble around never getting to the real point and driving it home well. Good speaking starts with good writing, IMO.
     
  4. go2church

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    I like Jim take just an outline to the pulpit, after working on the sermon through-out the week. Why the felt need not to have notes when you go to preach?
     
  5. dianetavegia

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    Our interim pastor, Dr. George Barnett, who is in his late 50's, doesn't use any notes but does have the Bible verses and certain remarks on the 3 display screens in the church. He never stumbles or repeats himself. He's quite a wonderful preacher! Very polished and has 2 Doctorates from his years and years in university.
    The podium is clear acrylic and he generally walks all over the stage with his Bible in his hand.

    Diane
     
  6. Gayla

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    I know of one preacher who puts his notes in his Bible with a rubberband. As he walks around carrying the Bible, his notes are right there with him.
     
  7. dclark14

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    I use a rather full outline,yet not the complete text of my message.I find that I tend to wander up rabbit trails if I don't do this.Many preachers are very effective preaching without notes, yet well prepared.I have met many men who use noteless preaching as a point of pride. I think of Jonathan Edwards who gave that great sermon "Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God" and through the night weeping and wailing of conviction could be heard throughout the town, and many were saved. Pastor Edwards READ that sermon, but read it after much prayer.I don't see that the call and gifting for preaching has anything to do with using-or not using notes, as long as it is effectual upon the hearts of those who hear.
     
  8. Askjo

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    I have a book about it. It is for your "memory" sermon. Look at Dr. Charles Stanley for example.
     
  9. gb93433

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    When I first started preaching I preached with very few notes. But as I got older I almost always used a full manuscript. A full manuscript helped me to do away with comments that were not all that necessary. As I rehearsed the sermon I would toss out comments that were not as to the point as those I replaced them with.
     
  10. Ulsterman

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    I believe Jerry Vines wrote a book entitled "Preaching Without Notes" published by Moody. I also recommend his book "A Practical Guide to Sermon Preparation" also published by Moody
     
  11. pinoybaptist

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    Extemporaneous preaching (correct me if that is not what it is called) is common among our people, the Primitive Baptists. One of its advantages, I believe, is that it is less distracting both for the preacher and the congregation in that the preacher doesn't have to pause and look at his notes, or lower his eyes to look at his next point while talking.

    But, that kind of preaching has to be done with much prayer, and is best done by one who is always spirit-filled and therefore is possessed of a "belly full of living waters.

    Then, he is one preacher who has something to say instead of a preacher who must say something.

    But that's only me.

    Fact is, I've seen some pretty good extemporaneous preaching among the PB's and even among those who are not.
     
  12. Pastor J

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    I bring a complete outline to the pulpit. As others have said, it keeps me organized and keeps me from saying things that weren't originally planned. However, there have been times, this past Sunday for instance, that during the message it became clear to me that God wanted me to go in a different direction. It is important to stay close to the Lord and allow his leading, but that does not replace preparation.
     
  13. j_barner2000

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    Our pastor (who has 57 years experience) uses an outline with 3 or 4 main points a couple of supporting verses for each to back up his expository style and perhaps an occaisional supporting subpoint. normally no more than a half sheet of paper.

    He has counciled me to do an outline format with at least my main points and 3 or 4 sub points for each, to start. As I get more experience, I will be able to use less notes, but He said he never goes up without at least his 3 main points written down.

    Our other pastors typically have 3 main points and 2 to 3 subpoints under that so 9 to 12 on their outlines, (which they share with me) and I typically have 15 lines on mine. My first one was a manuscript and made me so nervous that I would deviate that I stared at it. I do much better with the 12 to 15 point/subpoint outline format.
     
  14. Bethelassoc

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    USN2Pulpit:

    Probably the most important thing to do is pray about how to preach. I'm not a great speaker, but I know that I wasn't called to preach for my great speaking. [​IMG]

    I've tried to write things down before, place notes on this verse or on that chapter, but I've realized that it doesn't work well for me.

    Through prayer and trying out different ways, you should find a "style" that best suits you.

    We'll be praying for you.
     
  15. Hardsheller

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    What about the Spiritual Gift of Preaching?

    If you don't have it - Note or No Notes - you're going to fail.
     
  16. Bethelassoc

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    Hardsheller:

    I took it that the gift of preaching was a given. You're right, though.
     
  17. Jim1999

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    USN2pulpit
    Anyone know of any good resources to figure out preaching without the use of notes?
    _______________________________________________

    If you want to culture the art of extemporaneous preaching, you might try this:

    In a dish place cards with one word on each card. It may be a simple word like "milk". Draw a card from the dish, study the word for a few minutes, then try speaking out loud for about five minutes on that word. What you say need not be factual, but should remain on the subject.

    We did this in one seminary, but the student had to speak before the student body and was open to criticism after he was finished.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  18. aefting

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    I'm not a pastor but I do teach, both teens and adults. Normally, for a 45-minute lesson I bring 5-8 pages of detailed notes with me (don't always finish everything in my notes but that's what I bring). I have most of the verses that I will consult printed out on those notes with some of my points bracketed within the text. My experience is that God brings insights on the text to mind during preparation rather than while I am teaching. I'm not the best public speaker in the world, so I find that having detailed notes helps me get through the material without missing important details/thoughts.

    I have noticed that my pastor brings a similar amount of notes with him to the pupit but he does not refer to them as often during his message as I would. His style is different, though, and he has occasionally forgotten his notes and done just fine. I would not want to find myself in that situation. I don't think I would do as well.

    Andy
     
  19. amen_corner

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    A couple of good books might help you grow more confident without notes...12 Essential Skill for Great Preaching by McDill and How to Preach without Notes by Koller. McDill's sermon prep method is very thorough and helps the preacher internalize the message in both heart and mind. I'm not that familiar with Koller's book although it looks pretty good.
     
  20. USN2Pulpit

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    Of course this is necessary - I only ask because I'd like to be able to communicate better - basically continuously trying to improve. The basic bulletized format of notes seems to work for me, but I hate those awkward moments when I am well aware that I am looking down, trying to find my place on the notes I prepared. (I'd rather not have to do that!)

    By the way Hardsheller, the Evangelism Conference in Springfield was great...wish you could have been there.

    For me, less is more. Things always wind up better that way, but somehow I still end up carrying a novel's worth of my own notes. Perhaps I just need to trust the Lord a little more - and the gift He's given.
     

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