Before we begin to look at the actual act of preaching — before we even start to think about choosing a passage, or crafting an outline, or selecting our clothing, or figuring out if we need to talk louder or softer or faster or slower — before we do any of those things, we have to wrestle with all of the stuff going on inside of our own heads and hearts as we walk toward the pulpit. These are the fundamentals.
If we don’t work on these first, none of the techniques will matter. We are talking about…
- Identity – What is your self-understanding? How do you see yourself?
- Role – What are the roles you fill? What have you been asked to do? How do others see you?
- Gifting – What are you good at? What are your unique, specific skills?
- Calling – What do you dream about? What are God’s dreams for your life? Where does your passion meet the worlds need?
Consider the following questions. Go for a walk or a drive and have a conversation with yourself, or with God, about these two questions. Or if writing helps you think, spend some time journaling about these questions.
- How do you feel when someone asks you “What do you do?” How do you answer? If you could answer in any way you’d like, without worrying about how other people would react, what would you like to say?
- When you picture a “preacher,” who do you picture?
- Have you known women preachers? Who was the first? Were you a child or an adult when you first heard her preach? What was that experience like for you?
- When you say the words “I am a preacher,” how do you feel?
To end today’s conversation, I’ll send you out with a little first century inspiration from our friend Paul (Romans 10:14-15). Can you hear these words as addressed to you?
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?
And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?
As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”