I am impressed with the dedication and skill of our worship team who lead us in worship every Sunday. The skill from this team comes about from their practicing their skills on a regular basis. In the same way they practice their skills, I also believe we need to train and skill our speakers and preachers. And in this regard, I see it as an utmost importance to train, sharpen and equip our speakers to do so in a skilled and confident manner.
Therefore one of my desires for our church is to run a preaching school. By school, I mean a bi monthly day or 1/2 day where we gather our preachers, ministry leaders and others who are involved in speaking and sharing in many varied ways. There we will either run an in house workshop or invite guests to come and run some skill sets to help us improve our ministry of speaking, sermon, talk and reading preparation and delivery.
I love encouraging people to step out and try something new. One never knows if they may or may not have a calling to do something if they never try it. And within this regard, I was able to encourage someone tonight who has been rostered to preach for their first time in a few weeks time. My advice was to them was as follows.
- Be yourself. Don’t try and emulate someone else.
- Relax in the authority that has been trusted to you. Part of submission to those in authority is in accepting their trust in you to be able to do something new.
- Keep it simple. Don’t complicate it. Don’t be frightened of sharing the obvious points.
- If you can only get one clear point from the passage, then share that one point and make the point well.
- It doesn’t matter if in making that one point, you only speak for 5 minutes.
Time didn’t allow for a giving more detailed advice. But that advice would have been how to structure the sermon, within a point, application and illustration framework. My final advice is that soak and meditate on the passage. Allow it to soak deep within. Pray and ask the Lord to reveal the truth of his word deep within. Get a deep sense of what God is saying to you on a personal level from the passage. Then and only then, read a commentary or two.
My final word of advice is to preach and pray over it over and over again. Preach it to your dog. Your cat. Your friends. Your teddy bear. Preach it a number of times, and then when you come to the actual time of sharing, you will find you are not tied to your notes. Within this context, remember that if you miss something in your notes, we as the congregation will not be aware of it, and therefore you don’t have to to be anxious about it.