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11 Kinds of Preacher: Which Preacher Type Are You?

3. The Nurturing Preacher Type

This person is kind and caring. Sensitive to others and willing to give themselves away for those they love.

I imagine that this type of personality gets people quicker than others, although that quickness may come from lots of time caring, listening and praying. Such tender sensitivity is a blessing to those loved. We can all learn from the ways warm and caring people communicate warmth and care (but not to perform; we need to develop that inner reality).

Those who read others well need to be sure to read the text carefully and to preach it honestly. There is a danger that a high concern for others can bias the reading of the text so that messages of help can be sought rather than the message of the text. And then when the text is understood, we all need to have the courage to preach that appropriately to our people. Sometimes, a fear of hurting feelings can undermine caring biblical ministry. Care for people and care enough to invest God’s Word in the life of the church. Perhaps there should be another category of The Conflict Avoiding Preacher … but then I’d be repeating this paragraph!

4. The Creative Preacher Type

Developed aesthetic sensitivity, an eye for beauty, an energy for the new and the striking.

I suppose this personality feature will also offer benefits and dangers. New and creative ways of communicating the Word can offer memorable and effective presentations. It can also offer error. Others do, too, but there is something risky about the new in terms of the ministry. Be careful to use the energy for creativity (a godly characteristic) in a way that represents Him and His Word well.

Here are some more musings on the multi-faceted complexity of our inner world. How does your personality mark your preaching?

5. The Writing Preacher Type

A clear thinking and able wordsmith who can write with considerable natural talent. They can’t imagine living in a non-literary age, nor living without books.

There are obvious pros and cons here, too. Preaching is also communicating, and being able to think through to a point of clarity is a key skill. However, writing and speaking are very different communication forms. Clear writing can lose listeners. All of us need to learn to write messages in spoken English, rather than written English. Alternatively, we need to not write our messages at all but to plan them as spoken events. That thought would set off some personalities and not just the lovers of writing!

6. The Professor Preacher Type

This person loves and retains information. They read, they memorize, they analyze; they store tons of biblical, theological and historical data.

What an advantage for preaching. The ability to make links with other texts, to hold it all together in the mind and to draw it all in from various sources without having to chase things from scratch.

But there is a downside. Relevance might get lost. Preaching is not a data dump. Listeners may struggle to follow apparently tenuous connections or just get tired of information overload. The person with this tendency as a preacher will need to learn to cut and edit maliciously. Most struggle to simplify messages enough. This personality type will struggle more than most. Listeners also would probably like to know the preacher beyond the obvious ability to handle and connect information.

7. The People-Person Preacher Type

Great people skills are worth so much and so complex to have to learn but nice for those who are naturals! Ability to connect, to interact, to feel comfortable, to tell stories, to be vulnerable, etc.

While a lot of preachers may be more introverted, the advantages of focused solo study can be balanced by difficulties in communication (or more commonly, in post preaching interaction). The people-person preacher can stand up and say the alphabet in a way that makes people feel warm and connected. And hence both pro and con.

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Peter Mead is involved in the leadership team of a church plant in the UK. He serves as director of Cor Deo—an innovative mentored ministry training program—and has a wider ministry preaching and training preachers. He also blogs often at BiblicalPreaching.net and recently authored Pleased to Dwell: A Biblical Introduction to the Incarnation (Christian Focus, 2014).