Bible Teaching is not about simply transferring information.Â It includes that, but it also includes changing the lives of the people you have been called to teach the Word to.Â Rick Blackwood,…
Olin Moyd, in The Sacred Art: Preaching and Theology in the African American Tradition wrote:
Frank Thomas, in his important book They Like to Never Quit Praisin’ God: The Role of Celebration in Preaching writes:
Dr. McMickle discusses “praise” as the next reason why prophetic preaching has not been on the agenda of most preachers. Whether it is preaching conferences, journals, magazines, and church services, we are constantly given this call to praise. McMickle writes:
Dr. McMickle continues helping modern preachers by forcing us to ask ourselves the question: “Am I a patriot or a prophet?” A preacher cannot be both. A patriot is one who equates the policies of a political party with the voice of God.
Many people contact me wanting a step by step method to learn to whoop, here is the outline of a method.
1. Listen to Other Whoopers
I am currently reading the important work by Marvin McMickle entitled Where Have all the Prophets Gone? In the book McMickle looks at 4 trends that have caused the prophetic voice of the prophets to be blunted in the Christian church.
My Sister and Brother preachers, preparation will help the preacher weather the storm of standing behind the sacred desk. It is our hope that this series of simple suggestions lifts your spirits and increases your confidence. Reverend Harris and Elder Cox believe that these suggestions will help you be heard.
To preach in the African American Tradition one must understand and feel the culture. This comes from being a part of the community and really feeling the dual consciousness that makes the African American Tradition work.
Another way to be prepared is to practice properly established protocol. One should have rehearsed citing:
- The churchâ€™s name
- The pastorâ€™s name
- The name of the auxiliary which extended the invitation.
- The occasion that brought forth your invitation
I can recall with dread being asked to preach for a pastor in a surrounding city. This pastor was the president of the state convention, and so I addressed him accordingly, however, I mispronounced his name! I felt like a clown when the congregation communally corrected me. It was like a public chastisement. Previously, only he and I knew that I was a novice preacher, but after that moment everyone knew. It was an uphill battle trying to deliver the message because my lack of preparation ushered in an extreme sense of nervousness.
OK, we all know that we should prepare, but how do you prepare? Many put forth much effort into creating a strong manuscript, and then step into the pulpit having spent little time reading the document.
Know Your Manuscript
In contrast, great preacher’s review their sermon several times before arriving at the appointed place. My mentor, the Rev. G.L. Parks, has suggested that one reads their manuscript no less than 10 times prior to preaching it. The preacher should especially pay attention to details like spelling and grammatical concerns. Such efforts will help to ensure that the preacher doesnâ€™t stumble over or mispronounce words.
Know Your Biblical Text
For those who opt to preach without a script, familiarizing oneâ€™s self with the introduction, major points transitions, and the close is helpful. Regardless of how one presents the material, a good way to be prepared is to be familiar with the text. Many seasoned pastors suggest that one knows their text well enough to cite it from memory. This is a good idea, and one should be familiar with the text enough to put emphasis where necessary in the text. Also having the proper pronunciation for difficult proper names is also a good way of demonstrating competence through preparation.
Thus preparing a strong manuscript is just the beginning, preparation includes knowing the Biblical text as well as one’s manuscript very well.
We cannot say enough about preparation. Some sage once said that proper preparation prevents poor performance. This is especially true in the preaching moment.
Preparation Lowers Preacher’s Fears
My fellow preachers, I have observed a few advantages of being prepared and will delineate some of them in this article. First, being prepared helps to ease nervousness. For the associate minister and the visiting minister alike preaching in a foreign pulpit can be a terror-filled experience. However, being prepared will help the preacher lesson this “terror.”
Preparation Lowers Congregational Apprehension
Let’s be real, most of the time people come to church expecting to hear a word through their pastor. Many have joined the church because they appreciate the ministry of their pastor. Often these people are taken aback when they see another where the pastor “should be.” Being prepared helps the preacher by allowing the preacher to become a willing and energetic participant in all of the service. The preacher can read the text, sing the congregational hymn and participate in other visible ways. This participation can help the preacher get a feel for the congregation and help to lower the apprehension of the people.
Thus preparation helps both the preacher and the congregation. If you have an especially horror filled moment, remember you prepared and say a quick prayer to God as you participate in the praise of the worship service. Perhaps your fear will be overtaken by your praise.
This is the final post in the series discussing notes on Dr. Charles Adams’ class entitled “Preaching, Black and White.” Specifically the lecture entitled “do’s and don’ts.” Teresa Fry Brown wrote up notes from that lecture on page 164 and 165 of her book Weary Throats and New Songs. We have had nine articles in the series:
- Avoiding a Dull Sermon – How to avoid being dull in preaching effectively.
- Don’t Apologize for the Message – When God gives you a message, don’t be afraid of it, stand up and preach it if you are to be an effective preacher.
- Preachers must Protect the Voice – If you are to be an effective preacher you must not abuse your voice.
- Your Voice is an Instrument – Preach like It – Don’t preach in a monotonous way, use changes in dynamics, tone, and rhythm.
- Preach with the People – Don’t preach above or below the people, but to them.
- Stealing Another Person’s Sermon – What It Says About You? – What are the results when we steal other people’s sermons.
- On the Reuse of Sermons – How to Re-use a sermon.
- Should You Imitate Other Preachers? – What happens when you imitate other preachers?
- How Long to Preach? – How Long should your sermon be?
These tips can help any preacher become a much more effective one. You can read any of the above articles simply by clicking the article titles.