Thursday, March 08, 2007

Ten things to do while preaching

C. H. Spurgeon
1. Announce your text clearly at the beginning of the message so they know what you are talking about.
2. Maintain eye-contact. Look at the congregation, not above, or beyond them, or at the lectern, but at the people.
3. Raise the volume by deepening your pitch. If you raise your pitch to increase volume, you will sound shrill and screamy, which isn't good.
4. Do not drop your voice too much if you want people to hear what you are saying.
5. If you find a new aspect of the message opening up while preaching, take a risk and go with it.
6. Be sensitive to the congregation's reaction to the message and respond appropriately.
7. Don't impose your feelings on the people. Move them with you, but don't dump your emotions on the congregation - it will only alienate them.
8. Don't be stiff and formal - you're a human being - communicate.
9. Stop! You are probably not the next Spurgeon/Lloyd-Jones, so half an hour will usually be enough. You won't get paid overtime, so why go on?
10. Don't take too seriously the comment at the door, "Why did you stop? I could have listened for longer." It really means you finished at exactly the right time!


Guy Davies said...

What I'm trying to say is increase volume by adding bass not treble to your voice. Louder and lower gives the voice power. Louder and higher will make you sound desperate. Resonate, don't shreik.

Michael Westmoreland-White, Ph.D. said...

Hmm. I wonder if my pastor can "add bass to her voice." :-)

BTW, E.P., since you are a Spurgeon fan, did you catch my Spurgeon peace quote on my blog?

In addition to the quote on my blog (in which I describe Spurgeon's antipathy toward war in general and the Crimean War in particular), more recently, I came across this gem from Spurgeon:

"May the day come when war shall be regarded as the most atrocious of crimes--when for a Christian to take part in it shall be regarded as a most heinous offence! The day may be far distant, but it shall come." Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892).

One finds Baptist peacemakers in places one hardly expects to find them--especially given the large place of honor Spurgeon holds among today's Baptist militarists. :-)

Guy Davies said...

Hi Michael,

I'm sure that one of the reasons that women shouldn't be preachers is that they can't do bass.

Re the Spurgeon quote, it comes from a sermon on Zech 4:6 (1857). It is a wonderful message. In the section which you sited, CHS was railing against imperialistic conflict "not by might."

He also says "The progress of the arms of the Christian nation is not the progress of Christianity, and I hold that the spread of the British Empire, so far from being advantageous to the gospel, has been hostile to it."

I agree wholeheartedly with these enlightened sentiments. I'm a gospel pacifist - I don't believe that the gospel can be defended or advanced by force. But I also believe that the State does not bear the sword in vain.

Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for sharing the list. I linked to it this morning at my blog for preachers. Peace.

John D Brand said...

Huy Guy. Great to find your site this morning. Keep up the good work and I look forward o tracking this. I will also put a link on my own site to yours.