Well sometimes I feel like I am beating a dead horse. But this time, I am quoting someone else. Peter Mead over at Biblical Preaching is beginning a discussion of why he doesn’t use notes.
Mead echoes just about everyone else who talks about this subject when he begins the post by saying that whether you use notes or not is less important than other concerns, namely is it Biblical, does it have a clear idea and purpose, and is it relevant. I would definitely agree with all of these points.
Barry Davis provides hints on how to preach with a manuscript. Davis provides examples and rules for creating a manuscript that will make your people think that you are preaching without notes.
This is a very good article on a subject that very little people write on. Namely, how do you format a manuscript for preaching.
Webb’s basic thesis is that the best preaching is done without notes. He then precedes to give an example of how he puts his sermons together week after week. Webb attempts to prove that preaching without notes is more valuable in general because it allows a greater connection to the audience and it frees the preacher to be passionate. Then after defending the approach, Webb describes the approach in a day by day approach.
Joseph Webb stated that passion is more important than eloquence in his book Preaching Without Notes. I heard a preacher who is pretty effective with a full manuscript. A few weeks ago he preached a sermon that moved many people. However, today he preached a sermon completely without notes. He did have more passion than normal. He also moved around and had better eye contact with the people. But, his sermon had some major structural problems.
How do they do it? All of us have seen the ministers preaching without notes. They seem to show a confidence and power. But the question many preacher’s ask is how do they do it?