50 Summer Preaching Tweaks: 41-45

Summer50bInto the home stretch, five more thoughts today and then the final five tomorrow:

41. Come out from behind the furniture.  Your whole body communicates, so why hide most of it?  If you have huge pulpit furniture, just come out from behind it.  This isn’t just about being contemporary, Lloyd-Jones removed the curtain at Westminster Chapel for the same reason (although he chose to wear a robe, which slightly defeated the logic).

42. Gesture bigger to look natural.  Unless you are preaching to one person across a table, you need to gesture bigger than normal if you want to look normal.  Make sure your gestures and movements are big enough for the room you are in, and then make sure they still look natural and not stiff or forced.  Simple.

43. Discover your stiff preaching zone.  Speaking of stiffness in preaching, what aspect of delivery freezes when you stand in front of a crowd?  It is a typical and subconscious response to public speech.  Find it and deal with it.  It could be your voice getting in a certain pitch range, or a fixed volume, or a specific gesture repeated endlessly, or the direction your eyes look, etc. 

44. Left to right and back to front.  Make sure your gestures make sense from the perspective of your listeners.  Left is right and right is left.  Past is right and future is left.  A bit of practice and your gestures will start to make way more sense to those listening with their eyes.

45. Practice storytelling at home.  Whether you are preaching narrative or giving an illustration, you will need to tell stories.  Some are natural at this, some are awkward in the extreme.  Practice at home.  Children are always ready to listen to a story (it doesn’t have to be biblical for practice time – what happened today while you were out?  Be descriptive, engaging, suspenseful, etc.)

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