What Do New Preachers Need?

If we take the biblical burden of mentoring seriously, we should be looking not only to our own ministry, but also to the needs of the next generation of preachers.  What do new preachers want?

1. Practical Instruction. Too many new preachers are left floundering in a confusing lack of simple instruction.  It really helps to have some basic training to get the building blocks in place.  Subtleties and variations can come later, but getting the basics in place are vital.

2. A safe environment in which to try and to fail. One of the real blessings of good Bible school training is the opportunity to preach and to fail (which doesn’t automatically mean failing the class, of course).  Alternatively a small meeting, or a welcoming small church … in fact, anywhere with abundant grace in the place.

3. A clear understanding of the distinction between mentoring and cloning. Too many people misunderstand mentoring and end up in a faulty cloning situation.  Either the mentor tries to force the next generation into an old mold, or the new preacher ends up copying someone that isn’t them.  Mentoring is about resourcing, equipping, training and launching the person being mentored . . .

5 thoughts on “What Do New Preachers Need?

  1. Good list. I think that new preachers also need some help in developing their own style. In most seminary programs there is extensive training on content (as there should be), but almost no training on good presentation skills. I have heard way too many young preachers who have no clue how to communicate the content of their sermon.

    I am a youngish preacher (31) and I’ve had to take the innitiative to learn presentation skills on my own.

  2. This whole site is great. Just enough info in each post to instruct and compel to dig deeper, but never overwhelming. Thank you for your work here. This little post about new preachers is especially precious to me as I’m a relatively newer elder who one day hopes to be able to fill the pulpit.

    Grace to you,

  3. thanks for your ministry. your blog is very encouraging especially for some of us who are upcoming preachers. what if you are in a situation that mentoring is not taking place and you are in a sense figuring it out yourself?

    • Matoke – great question. Many many people are in a situation where mentoring is not taking place. I would suggest praying for and seeking mentoring, even if only in a limited way for some aspect of life and ministry. I would suggest mentoring others in order to try to change the atmosphere and environment so that mentoring becomes a part of where you are. I would suggest the not so good, but still helpful, approach of being mentored at a distance (of time or space) . . . so learning from a good blog or two, and especially becoming a disciple of a great preacher, even from history. So next week I will be posting a series on Spurgeon – he would be a great historical mentor to study and learn from (as long as you don’t simply copy his style and content, but learn lessons and then be the preacher God wants you to be where you are now.)

  4. My first time here too… however, I’ve bookmarked this site. Thank you.
    Thank you for the dialouge above between Matoke and Peter Mead.

    I will be preaching my first message this Sunday, 10/31/10, and I hope to be able to share this with the pastor there later. I met him in a public place and simply asked him if I could preach at his church. That was in July and he had me to come set under his teachings (when I am able to be there) and three months later God has allowed the door to open.

    I am a member of a very large church, and work with the Altar Care team there, however, all that Matoke asked was the reason I began to browse tonight in hopes of answers.

    One interesting and sure one was “being led”. That’s my choice in the decision of having a pastor, or as some pastors are called by their members – a “Father in the Gospel”. I want mentoring that comes from God and the person or persons (if so be) that he leads me to. Paul taught Timothy, and JESUS taught the disciples, we need each other, and I pray that GOd will place me on the path…

    In the meantime, I will continue to write the messages I keep hearing and waiting on the Lord.

    Thank you for the dialouge and the website. I will be back and will also take the advice I saw regarding being discipled here by other ‘great’ preachers such as Spurgeon. Will Wigglesworth and K. Kullman be other choices for the teachings? It is ok whoever, because I will select this site again, as I believe I was LED here too!

    God bless you with the Love of Christ Jesus, truly our LORD.

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