In Part 1 of this series we looked at the first two steps to get started preaching. Today we will dive into four more steps to kick start your preaching ministry. If you haven’t read that post, check it out here. Step one is to start where you are and step two is to look for opportunities. Here are the next steps:
3. Seek meaningful feedback. Every time you present content to people you should seek meaningful feedback. People will be tempted to tell you that you did amazingly because they won’t want to crush your spirits as a new preacher. That type of encouragement is fine and you’ll get a good amount of that. But you need to seek out honest feedback from people who will give you specific things to work on for your next time. No one is a pro at something right out of the gate. The best athletes in the world spend countless hours conditioning and practicing. Preaching is much the same. Be willing to receive feedback from trusted people and make adjustments accordingly. This post on How to Get More Helpful Feedback on Your Sermons will serve as a good guide for you.
4. Confirm your calling. You will seek opportunities to preach and take them. You’ll teach, lead Bible studies, preach and lead people. These will either be the most energizing, life-giving, soul-enriching experiences of your life or you will hate every second of it. You’ll seek honest feedback from others. The majority of what you’ll hear will be, “You’ve got a gift, God has equipped you to do this, continue to hone this skill and it will be amazing to see what God will do in and through you.” Or you won’t hear much of anything. You’ll feel deep down inside a desire to do more of it, or you won’t. What I’m trying to say is that the idea of “calling” is not all that mystical. God confirms calling in a variety of different ways. The best way to find out is to do it and see where it leads. If it leads to more and more opportunities and fruit in it, then it may be a calling. If it leads to dread and drudgery for you and and your listeners it may not.
Keep in mind as well that calling to preach does not always mean calling to be a lead pastor or staff pastor at a church. It could mean that you preach and teach as a layperson when asked or you have an itinerate ministry where you travel and preach or a nursing home or prison ministry. A calling to preach could have a host of different applications for different people. The point is, seek God’s direction, pray for him to lead you, and see what fulfills you and leaves you itching for more.
5. Avail yourself to preaching resources. There are a host of books, blogs, podcasts and other helpful preaching aids online. I want to share with you some resources we’ve provided at Preaching Donkey to help you get started:
Check out our list of The Best 5 Books on Preaching
Listen to The Preaching Donkey Podcast
Make sure you’re subscribed to PreachingDonkey.com to get updates and helpful resources delivered straight to your email inbox.
Take a look at our Resource page which has some great preaching helps.
Check out my book which will give you more tools to apply as you hone your skill as a preacher: Preaching Killer Sermons: How to Create and Deliver Messages that Captivate and Inspire
6. Consider formal training. Finally, you may want to consider formal training such as seminary. Though this is not necessary in every context, if you are looking to pursue an official position as a lead pastor or teaching pastor it could be helpful. Though my bachelors degree is in Communication from a state university, I have a Masters degree from a seminary. There’s nothing magical about it, but it did expose me to things that have helped me as a pastor and preacher.
The pastoral role has particular challenges and requires certain skills that are often not addressed in seminary. This is why internships are so important. I’ll likely do a post on the importance of internships at a later time. But seminary is helpful for preaching because it teaches you how to handle the bible appropriately when studying it and teaching it.
So there you have it! Six steps you can take beginning right now to get started as a preacher. You chime in, what are some other opportunities to look for when you’re getting started. For some of our veteran preachers, how did you get your start preaching?