What Type of Preacher Are You, Really?

What Type of Preacher Are You, Really?

What type of preacher are you? Our personality types, experiences and values all tend to shape the type of preacher we are. At the risk of oversimplifying our complex personalities, let me suggest three main preaching styles (and you could argue leadership styles as well); Prophet, Priest and King. Becoming aware of our proclivity toward one of these can help us know our strengths but also keep the church we lead balanced. Have you ever met someone that was so strong in one area but were deficient in the other areas?  For example, if someone is only Prophet they can have a tendency to have a harsh edge or only speak to the mind. There is not doubt that we all need a kick in the pants sometimes but when you get kicked every single weekend it can be counter productive. Or, if someone’s preaching style is so heavily weighted towards Priest, they are so good at pulling the heart strings but may skip over some of the “in your face” chastisement that is needed. Or what about the King? You know, the one that is talking about the vision of the church every single Sunday and somehow missing the individual lives that make up the church.

BALANCE IN SERMON PREP: 

In no way am I suggesting that every person should strive to be 33 percent Prophet, 33 percent Priest and 33 percent King every weekend. However, being aware of where you are naturally drawn will help you to craft better sermons and even be more faithful to the text you are preaching. During your sermon preparation you may want to ask if you are reading the text objectively or through your preference. This is also important on a larger scale. As you plan out your sermon series for the year, make sure that you are covering multiples genres or topics. Let’s say you are going to do selections from the gospels, will you include the interactions Jesus has of both grace AND confrontation? Will you only choose epistles because they tend to have more of the imperative commands or will you also include going through poetic books like Psalms. If it’s a year of growth and “taking the hill” for the church, will you also include topics on rest, prayer, humility?

ADVANTAGE OF TEAM TEACHING:

This is where a teaching team can be a huge plus. When you recognize that you have different people on your preaching team they can be put in positions that align with their gifts. Oftentimes the lead pastor is the main visionary of the church. If his bent is toward King preaching then make sure he has the opportunity to preach those passages. If someone on the team is high in Priestly preaching then make sure he gets to preach the passages dealing with sexual sin, abuse, broken relationships, etc. Lastly, when its time to shake things up and wake the church up, who on the team is naturally wired with that Prophetic edge. These are fun discussions to have when you are part of a team. Think of it as an opportunity to steward who God has brought around the table to deliver His Word.

These are meant to be a bit exaggerated to help make a point and just reflect on who you are. I give you 100 percent permission to laugh as you read through them.

Prophet
Key words:? Truth, Knowledge, Repent, Sin, Discipleship, Challenge Righteousness…
Favorite Old Testament Passage: ?Deuteronomy 11
Favorite New Testament Passage: ?James
What you want people to say about you*: ? He/She is smart, convicting, personally righteous
What response you want from your hearers:? I’m going to change this in my life
Favorite Gesture: ?Finger Pointed

Priest
Key words:? Love, Grace, Forgive, Community, Hope, Heal…
Favorite Old Testament Passage:  Psalm 103:8
Favorite New Testament Passage: ?2 Corinthians 5:16-19
What you want people to say about you*: ?He/She is funny, nice, loving, approachable
What response you want from your hearers: ?I love God more now
Favorite Gesture: ?Sitting on stool

King:
Key words:? Kingdom, Grow, Vision Expand, Leadership, Gifts, Serve, Evangelism,
Favorite Old Testament Passage: ?Nehemiah
Favorite New Testament Passage: ?Acts 2:47
What you want people to say about you*: ?He/She is a great leader, visionary, respected, powerful
What response you want from your hearers: ?I’m going to DO something
Favorite Gesture: ?Arms fully extended and slightly raised

*understand the sinful/flesh side is exposed here.

  1. How would you apportion your preaching style using these three categories?
  2. Have someone else fill in what they think you are
  3. If you are on a preaching team do this exercise together.

This article originally appeared here.

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Danny Parmelee
Danny Parmelee grew up in North Central Wisconsin. With weekends filled with hockey games and tournaments there wasn’t much time for church. Like many teenagers do, he was sucked into a life of drinking, drugs, and self indulgence. His freshman year at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh he surrendered his life to Christ through the ministry of Cru. He became the Cru student President and saw many reached for Christ.