Preaching to the choir
Well I had the privilege of serving our congregation on January 4th by preaching the sermon and filling in for announcements etc. This is by far a privilege and joy but I often feel I am preaching to the choir in my own element of Youth Ministry talks, which happen at least 3 times a month on Sunday Nights… But that has me thinking…
Jesus spoke of the challenges of speaking in your own town… He experienced it when others questioned him because of His family line… His dad was a carpenter…. How could he be a preacher?
Well I think this is quite revealing of people and our society..
I knew going into the sermon… those who really like me will say it was a good job… those who dislike me (I know… I can imagine some don’t care for me) and then my desire for life change to occur.. Which I pray for every time I speak no matter what the audience.. That my words could be a fuel for change.
So how do we avoid speaking to the choir mentality?
I think we need to take each opportunity to pray, focus and touch.. God has given each talk, lesson, sermon or message as a tool for someone to be interacting with the one true God.. a face to face collision with God.. When I think of it in this term it makes me prepare a bit different. I don’t get all hyped up or nervous about failure but I get focussed on teaching, preparing and sharing words that God can inspire and excite people to change and move in their relationship closer to God and Christlikeness.
So you have prayed….. good keep praying
Next prepare… spend the needed time then a little bit more seeking God and reading the scriptures. I would add adding any special items you will use, for example a video clip, a picture, a prop but don’t allow those items to be the focal point but to high light and accentuate the scripture.
Thirdly, write it out… put it down on paper, or use some online tool like Evernote to work it out. I think this is an important part for multiple reasons, it keeps us on topic, it keeps us on time and it keeps us on the right track for a great message. I would also then build your power point or presentation depending on what media form you use.
Fourthly, I would go to the space you are teaching, preaching etc. in a do a dry run through of it. I know it takes a lot of time but it is important to get a feel of the environment and atmosphere… heck you will even know where certain people sit due to our assigned (just joking here) seats.
Followed, I would go back to the desk or Starbucks if that it your sermon, lesson prep place and rework or tweak the talk when and where it needs to be.
Finally, you are ready to speak and deliver it.. pray pray pray and get your prayer warriors to pray on your behalf.
One note in closing this post out.. make it personal… most people in a space where you are speaking want to know you.. they really want to know you are human… it isn’t for them to go oh He or she is awesome but hey he or she is the real deal and struggles with life much like me… He or she can be a Christ-follower, I need to up my game and do it too….
Remember it is a gift and privilege to give a talk, lesson or sermon on behalf of others and I would continue to encourage you to bring your best and allow God to do the rest..
Good prepping to you all