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Charlie Dates: Why Your Church Needs To Identify and Raise Up Young Preachers

“I am not afraid in the preparation of preaching to invite the Holy Spirit to clean my own heart…it’s not that the Word, even per se, is cutting everybody else. It cuts me first.”

“It’s my conviction that preaching is a calling and not everybody who takes a class is called…Some people pick preaching. That’s a dangerous exercise. I think preaching needs to pick you.”

“You need to have a kind of fire-shut-up-in-your-bones response to preaching. Meaning I can do nothing else but preach.”

“In a classroom, which I think the church has been very often, the congregation shapes young preachers in that regard or beginning. They draw it out of you.”

“Some of our best communicators never went to school, and school has messed up a number of them.”

“We have the greatest gift to listen to some of the best communicators from all over the world at our fingertips. And I would start there by sitting at the feet of some of the best communicators online listening.”

“There’s no one great way alone of doing preaching. There’s a swath of it. But if you can learn the structure, then you can take from that structure the bones you need and pull from great influences, nuances that help you to develop until you get your own voice and your own rhythm.”

“I think the church needs to create within its local context systems that get the right people to the pulpit at the right time.”

“I start to put people in environments where they have regular teaching and writing opportunities and then, more iteratively, put them up in front of the congregation for preaching.”

“The church has to curate the environment when the preacher gets up. And this is where the church I grew up in was so good. I go back and listen to some of those early sermons of mine and I wonder how anybody could sit through any of that. But [the church members] were so nurturing and encouraging and affirming.”

“You cannot rely on the academy to identify preachers. You just cannot do that.”

“I think we need to start giving younger people—and I mean like teenagers—speaking opportunities in our churches. I think rather than just kind of having the stage full of adults, we need to tap the children and the teen ministries with opportunities for them to communicate on Sunday.”

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