This entry is part [part not set] of 4 in the series Finding the Groove In Preaching

How many of you actually practice stylistic aspects of your message? Do you think that practice is something you should even do? Should all of our preparation time be spent in sermon construction?

Series NavigationSyncopation and Preaching

9 thoughts on “Do You Practice Style?

  1. Rev. E.L. Parker says:

    I believe the style lies within the individual. Even in the post when someone said, it seems as though you may be putting on airs. I disagree. You do practice your style every time you grace the pulpit to preach. Because everyone does not preach the same. Which gives each individual a style.

  2. Blackxenos says:


    You got it! We have to realize that practice is no more than a part of the study. If we do it mentally or out loud verbally it’s all a part of sermon preparation.

    I like to speak in terms of developing my style. I don’t object to practicing the sermon or the style. So if I rehearse my sermon that doesn’t mean I’m playing. If we were kids in the backyard imitating the preacher, then we’d be putting on airs.

    Truly, it’s about our motives. God knows if we are arrogantly rehearsing to “kill em” on Sunday.

    Or if we need the preparation to stay sharp, depending on God to bless what we have prepared. I see this as a part of studying to show oneself approved unto God. Again what’s the motive behind what we do. That’s the issue.

    But as adults, we must let all things be done unto edification. Decency and in order. Spirit and Truth.

    And I get alone and practice mentally and verbally. Actually I use all the passion in practice that I do on Sunday Morning, only most of it in practice is a whisper so that no one but me and the Lord hears this.


    Reverend Hightower



  3. To me practicing style seems like you are putting on airs or playing. Just preach! Don’t play games in the pulpit.

  4. I believe there nothing wrong with practice or rehearsing the sermon in your mind. Keep in mind, it probably won’t come out the way you rehearsed it. God will move and make his message known to the people through you. You are just a tool. So yes use you notes as a guide, but hear and speak through God. Also, remember you can use the same sermon again and again for different occasions, changes can be made, or a total different sermon may emerge from God. So, the practice could be the actual sermon itself and you can revamp it later.

  5. to the preachers who are lazy and for what ever reason refuse to prepare their sermons ,are not spirit led but are falling for the biggest lie from the devil jumping from one subject to another how can you know where you are going if you dont have a clear end in sight so my advice to you is to prepare your sermon but more than that pray pray and pray .

  6. G. Anthony Hill says:

    I believe we who have been given the gift of preaching should include style in our preaching ,and practice is very important i remeber in the book of Acts how Peter praticed what it was he was going to say ,I am of the thought that if you dont practice you are not cultivating the gift that our Father has entrusted us with I hear so many preachers say that you should not preach from notes and that the spirit would give you what to say but I believe that was a particular time and reason when the bible spoke of giving you what to say so my advice is to practice not only style but your very message or sermon as well.

  7. Mr. Cox,
    With reference to your discussion on whether or not it’s O.K. to practice style or not; this is my take on the subject as it relates to me: When I entered the preaching ministry as a younger man, I didn’t have a clue about anything. So not having a clue, I did practice a “style” of sorts, albeit a somewhat copy of preachers I had observed around me. I learned somehow that to do such was utter nonesense and did nothing to help me authenticate my calling and develop any primitive skills I might have had; it really was, also, a monumental waste of precious time. I must say, I did a great deal of practicing, but not for “style”… I learned that if I
    place my emphasis on studying the Word of God and de-emphasized “self”, then I had hardly any time for such foolishness. The classroom helped me shed a number of unproductive things I thought were a necessary part of the black preaching experience. I’m just sayin’.

  8. Sherman Haywood Cox II says:

    Well…I don’t see a dichotomy between style and substance. I think we all use style to support and promote the truth of our sermons. Self is not the point I am talking about. Experiencing the truth of the message and using your whole being (gesture, voice, word, and even the preachers life outside of the pulpit) to preach the message. Seek and try to have consistency between all of these things.

    God bless and keep on posting…

  9. Consider this…

    Preaching is a presentation of the message, the voice and the body. Everything that is present in the pulpit is part of the preaching moment and should be considered and prepared for that moment. What is not prepared may become a distraction to the very message that you are trying to convey.

    Annoying ticks, repetitive language, pacing, inappropriate volume, poor language, unmanaged speech impediments, clothing, hair, equipment failures, pulpit guests…all can add to or take away from the message that God has given to convey if not considered and properly managed through practice and preparation.

    Remember Paul…his word was good, but the presentation was so bad it caused Eutychas to fall out the window with boredom! Acts 20:7-9


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