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Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by grace_proclaimed, Nov 21, 2002.
How do you preach?
I use a mixture ,,but whatever we use always prepare in the holy Spirit.
Any method to the mixture? Or, just as you feel led?
Detailed outline (sentences, well crafted phrases, greek research, etc)
Normal message is 5-6 pages on the computer, single spaced. Also print out the scriptures in L-A-R-G-E font (Ariel 16) so I can read it with my poor vision.
Down here, where people have been conditioned that it is wrong for preachers to use notes, mine are small. The congregation knows I use them because they see my post its.
Amazing that some preachers actually preach that it's wrong to preach any way other than extemporaneously yet make all kinds of notes in the margins of their Bibles. Some even follow the chain in the Thompson chain reference.
Oh well, to each his own, I guess.......
I use a mix. It is vital that a pastor who preaches to the same people week in and week out not fall into the trap of saying the same thing in the same old ways, so writing is a good habit. It helps me get in focus what I'm trying to say. It helps me to select songs for the praise. But I'm not slavish to a manuscript. I prefer a detailed outline with certain parts written out. But whatever I use, be it a manuscript or no notes at all, eye contact is vital. Some note-less preachers spend too much time looking down. Some manuscript preachers only look at it 5% of the time.
My sentiments exactly!
Thanks for the replies.
Do you men use any standard that determines how many illustrations you use during a message?
Honestly, I'm sort of hit and miss. Sometimes it hits my mind.....well, you know
I feel that I could use more at times due to the fact that it helps people understand.
I notice that my mother, however, usually remembers only the stories her pastor tells and often forgets the point he was illustrating
Somewhere, there is a balance?????
Illustrations should do just what the name implies: illustrate. Remember that an illustration is far more than a story. For example, statistics can be an illustration (Or perhaps part of argumentation).
Some think that there should be an illustration for every major sermon point. I find it an understandable goal but it's not necessary to be legalistic about such. But should you illustrate a point that doesn't need to be illustrated? Should the illustration always be a story?
No offense to your mom's pastor, but if the illustrations are all that's memorable, he's either not getting the point and application of the text across (and there is a mountain of homiletic reserach to prove this. Remind me sometime and I'll post some of it) or he's using an illustration that's "too much" for the point.
I also fear that many pastors have fallen for the new homiletic's focus on stories, to the detriment of application based on solid exposition, explanation, & argument.
I've even thought that, if people really were this staunchly against having anything in front of them, they why take a Bible and read the text? Why not just memorize it? Maybe because the text isn't a part of the preaching?
This is my take as well after 30 years of pastoral ministry. An additional factor in preparing an extended outline with some areas written word for word is that I may want to preach that message again. I know some preachers claim to never preach a message a second time, but my thinking is that if it was good enough to preach once, it can be used again. In my current ministry (State Missions Director) I am preaching many messages from the past by simply rewriting them on the computer. Having an extended text to work from means that I do not have to start over.
A further note on this subject:
Preachers of a past generation were taught to prepare and memorize their message so they could preach it without notes. However, my experience with at least some of those older men who did this was a tendency in their later years to preach out of their memory and it tended to be repetious , or long-winded without any kind of organization.
[ December 03, 2002, 01:16 PM: Message edited by: Circuitrider ]
Thanks to all. You've helped me think a little more.
I have seen men take copious notes into the pulpit and never look at them. I have seen other men with outlines and texts written down. Then, I have seen men read their sermons, word for word.
My word is, whatever is effective for you. The first often wanders all over the globe, takes you nowhere and leaves you there. The latter two tend to deliver what they intended, finish when they should, and the banquet is well served.
I still love the story about the preacher who forgot his notes in the morning service and announced this fact. He went on to say, "I have forgotten my sermon notes and I shall have to depend on the Lord for my message, but I will be better prepared this evening." More fact than fiction? I don't know, but nothing works better, whichever pulpit practice is employed, like preparation.
We have a pastor in our state that has been known to take a page from the notes of the speaker's bible just for fun. I was warned by a missionary who spoke in his church. When I preached there, I kept my notes in my pocket until I was in the pulpit.
"....or long-winded ..."
Once heard of a long winded preacher who was to begin a revival in a church. On the last song before preaching he asked the pastor, "What would you preach about if it were your time to preach?"
Pastor said, "I'd preach about 15 minutes and sit down!"
I usually write out small outlines on the side margins of my Bible. This keeps me on point (hopefully) and gives me the liberty to add as I go along. I do need a wide margin Bible to do this though.