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Priscilla Shirer: ‘Message Preparation Is the Hardest Thing I Do in Ministry’

Priscilla Shirer
Photo courtesy of Priscilla Shirer

Priscilla Shirer is an author, speaker, Bible teacher and with her husband, Jerry, a co-founder of Going Beyond Ministries. Going Beyond equips believers through books, Bible study resources, conferences and films like “War Room,” “I Can Only Imagine” and “Overcomer.” Priscilla has authored more than a dozen Bible studies and speaks to churches and conferences across the world every year.

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Other Episodes in the Great Communicator Series

Rick Warren on the Kind of Preaching That Changes Lives

Wilfredo de Jesús: How (Not) To Turn Your Sermon Points Into Stop Signs

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

J.D. Greear: How Your Sermons Will Benefit From a ‘Multitude of Counselors’

Beth Moore on the ‘Most Important Part of the Process’ of Teaching God’s Word

Ralph Douglas West on the Benefits of Being Shaped by Black and White Preaching Traditions

Andy Stanley: Are You Missing This Key Part of Your Sermon Prep?

Max Lucado: ‘The One Thing That Has Helped Me More Than Anything Else’ as a Preacher

Sam Chan: How the Topical Preacher Can Avoid Getting on a Hobby Horse

Key Questions for Priscilla Shirer

-How do you prepare for a message?

-How do you come up with the illustrations that work so beautifully with your teaching?

-Should church leaders do their best to communicate as well as they can or wait on the Holy Spirit to guide them?

-In what ways has your communication changed over the years?

Key Quotes From Priscilla Shirer

“I’m very aware that I’ve been sort of in this master class on communications by default my whole life. I’ve just sat in church every Sunday, and Tony Evans has been my pastor since I was one year old.”

“The main way that I come across passages that I will eventually teach to others is that it’s in my personal quiet time that there is a string of conviction that hits my heart with so much power and the Lord and I are dealing with me on it.”

“What is the primary theme of this passage that I’m wanting to communicate to this group of people? And then what are the principles from this text that support that one theme?”

“I remember [Zig Ziglar] saying that an audience is going to remember 10% of what you said. Ninety percent better support that 10% because 10% is really all they’re able to absorb, digest and take home with them.”

“Message preparation is the hardest thing I do in ministry. It is painful sometimes. If I allow it, it can actually become discouraging to me…Study can be more fun for me. Gathering insights can be more fun for me. Once it comes to how I’m going to communicate this, most of the time it’s like a thorn in my flesh.”

“If it’s a good story but doesn’t get me to the principal, it’s not the illustration that I should use for this message.”