Friday, June 24, 2005

Homiletic Countdown

At last I have a draft of my sermon for Sunday morning, after practicing homiletic avoidance on Wednesday and homiletic procrastination yesterday. One of my delays has been conflicting feelings about using a written sermon. A dear friend here vehemently objects to sermons read from a text, saying that he could just take a copy and read it at home. (He has fine qualitities anyway -- really!) So, with his preference in mind, I had hoped to deliver a "sermon without notes" but I'm really not ready to do that in two days. This is only my 7th sermon (yes, it's pitiful, but I've counted them) and I still favor a text.

I solicit your prayers for my authentic preaching of the gospel this Sunday at 9 a.m. I also wonder how those of you with more preaching experience feel about the use of notes or text versus preaching with no written words of any kind. I'd value your thoughts.


Blogger Jane Ellen+ said...

I've run the spectrum, from full manuscript to preaching totally "hands free." I prefer the latter, but it also requires more preparation time, which I don't always have.

One thing I find does help with a manuscript, is taking the time to read it through out loud a few times. It seems that when I do, it sort of clicks into my brain, and the manuscript becomes instead a sort of extended series of notes-- from which I can depart more freely. I glance at them, to keep organized; but I am not reading them verbatim. The tone then becomes less oral reading and more conversational.

You will certainly be in my prayers as you preach the Word tomorrow, sister. (^_^)

7:27 AM  
Blogger Being Shielded said...

I've never had to preach a sermon, but here's the advice I got from a priest I worked for when I had to make a presentation to the vestry:

Plan what you're going to say, and use a complete script if you absolutely have to. At minimum, use a notecard with the main outline on it. If you loose your train of throught, you can always look down at your notes.

Hope this helps, even at this late hour!

11:09 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.

I know excellent preachers who always use manuscripts, for very good reasons; I know excellent preachers who never use any notes, for equally good reasons. I firmly believe that it's a matter of what works for you and your congregation. Figuring that out for yourself will likely be a matter of practice and experimentation - one of the reasons we have preaching class. :)

If you choose to preach without a manuscript, though - know what your ending is. A major reason that people wander and ramble and go on and on is that they don't know when they're done.

7:34 PM  

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