DON’T SAY SOMETHING HAPPENED TO YOU IF IT DIDN’T.
We’ve all heard the proverbial “preacher story,” and if you’ve been in the ministry very long, you will likely have similar experiences as other preachers. In your sermon preparation, you may read or hear a story that helps communicates the truth of the text or aids in application. You may recall having had a similar experience. If so, share your story, but don’t tell another’s story like it happened to you. It’s better, and really the only honest course, to say something like, “I heard about a preacher who…” or “Pastor ____________ tells the story.”
MAKE THE MESSAGE YOUR OWN.
Dr. W.A. Criswell was a powerful preacher who loved to invest in young preachers. Once, at his “School of the Prophets,” a young preacher asked Dr. Criswell if he’d ever preached another preacher’s sermon. He answered, “No, but let me explain. I could take your sermon, and by the time I get through ‘Criswellizing’ it, it will no longer be your message, it will be mine.” The most important part of moving the prayed-over and compiled research from your study from the paper to the pulpit is making sure that you first get it in your heart.
BE OPEN ABOUT YOUR PROCESS.
I love sharing how I prepare a sermon and get ready to preach. I often will place those books that I’m using for resources in a given series on the front row of the church for people to peruse. Most honest church members don’t care that you read and study after other writers and preachers. They just want to know that you’re diligent in your study and effective in your delivery.
This article originally appeared here.