A little pick and mix selection of fifty tweaks that you might want to ponder as we head into another school year of preaching ministry:
16. Smile. If you know you do this, move on (but only if you actually know, not just if you think you do). There are a surprising number of preachers that never seem to smile. Implication? Either there is no good news (we are called to preach good news), or no love for listeners (we are called to love listeners), or no delight in God (no comment necessary).
17. Use your preaching space effectively. You may have a vast platform area, or a small cluttered space, but are you using it to maximum communication value? I remember preaching Pilate with Jesus (one side of the pulpit) and the Jewish leaders (on the other side of the pulpit). The use of space helped the message to be visualized, simply by my deliberate movement.
18. Step outside your preaching mode to communicate effectively. Periodically drop the preaching mode and just be real. Actually, you are still preaching, and deliberately so, but it offers another ethos. If your normal preaching mode is too preachy, just drop it permanently and preach real!
19. Increase the vulnerability value. Speaking of being real, how vulnerable do you get in your preaching? Some think it is wrong to let any of you show in your preaching. That’s fine. You can continue to preach from another room via radio mic. But for those who recognize that preaching involves communicating God’s truth through your personality and life (i.e. an incarnational view of preaching), then evaluate how vulnerable. Where can you be appropriately, but helpfully, vulnerable?
20. Preach first-person at least once. It is so different, you have to give it a go. Pick a passage, study like crazy, write a message from the perspective of one character in the story or associated with the passage. Decide if the listeners have gone back there, or if the character has travelled through time to today. It is more work, but the impact is typically worth the effort (costumes and fake voices are not worth the effort!)
2 thoughts on “50 Summer Preaching Tweaks: 16-20”
Thanks for the suggestions! I’ve never tried preaching 1st person, sounds like it would be pretty interesting. What characters have you done?
I think I have done a few, but the one that stands out is Nahum. I was struggling to preach the book of Nahum as it is so overwhelmingly negative. I decided to go first person, with Nahum visiting the church today to explain the significance of his book in its context. It worked well and the negative content didn’t feel so heavy when coming with his experience and emotion. I’ve also preached as Potiphar, Prodigal’s older brother, and others, but it has been a while . . . maybe I should go for it again and follow my own suggestion!