I’m scanning through Preach the Word, edited by Greg Haslam. There is an interesting chapter entitled “Thirteen Things I wished I had known about preaching” by Jeff Lucas. Let me share a few of the thirteen:
1. The pulpit is a highly dangerous zone. By “highly dangerous” Lucas is referring to the complications of microphones that may be off when you think they are on, and on when you think they are off. He is referring to knowing when you preach in the program of the meeting (ie. What comes before the message – will your opening story work after that moving solo?) Basically, if something goes wrong, everyone notices. Not exactly what I’d call “dangerous,” but true nonetheless.
2. At least 25% of the preparation time should be spent on the first three minutes and the last three minutes of the sermon. (Note that 97.1% of statistics are made up on the spot.)
4. The voice is designed for variety. Shouting is not the same as anointing. Pace, pitch, punch, pause, etc. Simple, but important to remember.
13. Where the setting is appropriate, always leave time for questions. Something to consider, even in a formal traditional church setting – can we create a venue for questions?
If you want to know the rest, you’ll have to buy the book. What do you wish you had known when you started preaching? I think I would say this, “I wish I’d known that the goal in preparation is not to get a good message as soon as possible, but to really make the most of the spiritual study journey of preparation.” You?