Honing the Difficult Art of Preaching

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Sometimes before even getting on the stage or pulpit, I envision myself. Confident of the things I’m speaking about, no stammering speech, now faltering voice, everything flowing smoothly from my mouth. And in that moment of preparation, with glasses on and my mug filled with coffee, books piling my table, pencil underlying sentences from books, typing texts at the speed of light, reflecting on the words of the bible, words just flow like a stream if I’m really on a roll. And as the finished product is laid down on Microsoft Word document, I sit and read and envision a little more of how I’m going to deliver this sermon. I’m all pumped up to tell those hearing the very words that God wants to tell them.

But up on the pulpit, my hands get all sweaty. My throat is dry. I look at my water bottle almost out of liquid. I get nervous about missing out points, whether people would understand the things I’m talking about, whether I will make myself clear. I bury my head in the paper I’ve written and start to speak. People seem anticipating. The look like they are listening intently. Some nod in agreement. Some have blank expressions. Some are yawning away. And then I continue to speak.

Speaking in a public setting like preaching is not something that comes naturally for me. I get nervous but I’m exited at the same time about it. Well, this is not a post about me teaching of how one masters the craft of preaching but I’d like to alert you to this article by William H. Willimon entitled Voice Lessons. It’s a good article. Instead of me explaining about it, why don’t you read it for yourself?

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