Observations from an Old Preacher…

After 50 odd years (well not all of them were odd) of ministry I have learned (or learning still):
I. Reading the Bible and reading the Bible can be two very different things.
Since the Bible is unlike any other book in human existence it therefore cannot be read like any other book. However, it does require a constant reading over that allows the Spirit to pinpoint particulars in the Scriptures which if not in the memory cannot be brought to fore. So a constant reading and rereading of the complete Bible must be an ongoing operation and then selective reading which pertains to a subject must be done. The better the “overall” reading the better the “subject” is magnified. Trying to “get by” on less always is shown in the preacher’s lesser ability to relate the “mind of Christ.”
II. View your audience as people;
people who will either be helped or hindered by your efforts; people who are never “black and white” in their spiritual chemistry – none are all good and none are all bad; people who are there not by chance – and therefore your message was meant for them – one cannot aid the absent – so don’t make the attending people suffer for those who aren’t.
III. Forget your notes as much as possible.
Preach from what you have inhaled through study and prayer and omit the points that don’t have points. A message engrained is a message extraordinary.
IV. Don’t try to copy a “style”
– allow God to fashion your own. God called individual men not cookie-cutter stamp outs. God mixes Himself with a preacher’s spirit and we call this anointing. Seek not to “move the crowd” rather seek to “move the cross.”
V. Support the pastor you are preaching for
– God many times uses another pastor to help a congregation to understand the value of their man of God and how to better operate with him to fulfill the will of God in that local assembly. Illumination is worth much more than imagination.
VI. Proper language (not speaking of grammar) in the pulpit is always proper.
To lower the vocabulary to “street speak” and “vulgarisms” is despicable regardless of the laughter that ensues. Preachers ought to sound like preachers and honor the office to which they are called.
VII. Preach like a dying man to dying men.
— jlg —