How to Preach Conversationally

sermon development Sep 27, 2018

What is conversational preaching? What does it look like to preach in a conversational tone? There are many different styles and methods to use when we preach – proclamational, authoritative, narrative – to name a few. And we may employ any number of these styles throughout a preaching career and even in a single sermon. But the tone that, I believe, should pepper our messages is a conversational tone. This article will explain the importance of conversational preaching and how we can utilize it. But first it’s important to define it.

 Preaching conversationally is not about having a light-hearted, folksy cadence to your speech. Rather, it’s more about how you place yourself in the seat of your listeners and make them feel heard. To preach conversationally, anticipate what your listeners are thinking and seek to give them a voice when you preach. If preachers seek to speak in a conversational tone, they will empathize with their listeners and...

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What’s the Difference Between Preaching and Teaching?

sermon development Aug 18, 2018

What’s the difference between preaching and teaching? This is a question a lot of church leaders ask. Or perhaps it could be posed this way, “Is this particular form of speaking considered preaching or teaching?” There is a difference, but it can be hard to articulate exactly what that difference is and why it matters. The words we use to describe our communication are important.

It’s important to have clarity so that you know, as a presenter, what your aim should be in a given context – whether preaching, teaching or otherwise. As for the delineation between preaching and teaching, this article will show you what the difference is and why it is important to distinguish between the two forms of communicating content. Simply put: The difference between preaching and teaching is that preaching is primarily geared toward life-change while teaching is primarily aimed at transferring knowledge.

 Are you interested in discovering how to study...

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The FIVE Best BOOKS On Preaching!

sermon development Jul 12, 2018

What are the five best books on preaching? Find out in this video.

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Five Distracting Physical Habits of Preachers – Part 2 of 2

sermon development May 29, 2018

Every preacher needs to be aware of a potentially hazardous problem that can show up in their sermon delivery: distracting physical habits. In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the first two distracting physical habits of preachers:

1. Turning your back to the audience to read from the screen
2. Using filler words and vocal pauses

If you missed that post, check it out here. Today we are going to look at three more distracting physical habits of preachers:

 3. Aimlessly pacing back and forth on the stage

In college I majored in Communications. In my program, we studied presentation techniques extensively. We examined what works and what doesn’t when it comes to public speaking. And we practiced presenting in front of each other routinely. In the first speech I gave as a freshman, I paced a lot. Back and forth across the room. I was mimicking what I had seen some of my favorite speakers do. Only, their pacing was purposeful and intentional. Mine was aimless....

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Five Distracting Physical Habits of Preachers – Part 1 of 2

sermon development May 15, 2018

Every preacher has physical tendencies that unintentionally distract the audience. Sometimes these are known by the preacher and other times they are ticks and habits that must be pointed out to be changed. Public speaking in any context, and especially in a church setting, engages your whole mind and body. This means speakers can easily find themselves neglecting to pay attention to their body language and physical habits because they have to remember what to say … and everyone is watching.

 All of us could use some coaching in this area. When I look back through videos of my sermons I notice more distracting physical tendencies than I care to admit! But there is hope and we can all overcome these by knowing what they are and working to eliminate them.

I want to offer five common physical distractions I’ve observed in preachers over the years. I’ve also seen a good amount of these in my own preaching over the years and have sought to correct and eliminate...

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So You Think You Can Preach? 6 Steps to Get Started Preaching – Part 2 of 2

sermon development May 01, 2018

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...

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So You Think You Can Preach? 6 Steps to Get Started Preaching – Part 1 of 2

sermon development Apr 17, 2018

Have you ever wondered how to get started preaching? Maybe you sit in church and look up at your pastor giving the message and think, I could do that!

You get cut off in traffic, lose it for a second and start pounding your horn. When you calm down it hits you, This would make a great self-deprecating sermon illustration in which I demonstrate that, while I’m still human, God uses imperfect people!

When someone asks you a question about the Bible, God, theology, a doctrinal dispute or social issue, you relish in the opportunity to help them make sense of their question, but what you really want is for them to do something with their newly discovered truth.

If any of these resonate with you it may mean you have an itch, a desire, perhaps even a calling to preach. I want to share with you some things to consider and possible next steps you could take. So you think you can preach? Let me share with you how to get started preaching in six steps. But...

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3 Ways to Give Application in Your Sermons

One of your jobs as a preacher is to teach your listeners how to live out the truths you preach from Scripture. If your goal is simply to educate or inform your audience so they can be more knowledgeable, then stop preaching. Preaching, of necessity, requires application. We’re preaching for life-change. We’re preaching to make the written word become the living word in people’s daily lives.

But the application part of the sermon is often the most difficult to execute well. I once listened to a sermon where the preacher concluded with a list of 13 ways to apply the message. Thirteen ways! Most people struggle to remember thirteen different truths from one sermon, much less apply them. He was well-meaning, but the buckshot approach just doesn’t work.

With that said, drilling down on just one application seems too narrow. You have a varied audience with varied needs. The text has one meaning, and hopefully your message can be summed up...

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4 Irresistible Traits of Speakers who Connect with their Audience

Recently my church hosted a leadership conference to encourage and equip our lay leaders and staff. One of the speakers at the event, Nikki, impacted me with her engaging presentation. She spoke for nearly an hour training our leaders how to do ministry effectively in our context. About halfway through her presentation I had filled my page with notes and was eager for more. I started to think about what made the experience so captivating. I turned the page over and jotted down some notes that I want to share with you. Nikki embodied the 4 irresistible traits of speakers who connect with their audience.

Speakers who connect:

 1. Relate to their audience. Irresistible speakers know how to relate to their audience. They understand the need people have to feel understood, and they make an effort to demonstrate to their listeners that they “get” them. When Nikki spoke that day it impacted me because I was convinced that she understood me. The subject matter was...

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Celebrating Preaching Donkey’s 1st Birthday Today!

One year ago today I published the first post ever on Preaching Donkey.com! Happy Birthday, Preaching Donkey! When I started this blog I had finally found a niche I was interested enough to stick with. There were plenty of resources on preaching available, but none that I could tell that focused entirely on communicating as preachers. I had plenty of ideas on the topic from experience, trial, and error. I wanted to share my thoughts on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to preaching.

After a few weeks of figuring out how to start a blog, Preaching Donkey was born. Next week I want to show you how to start a blog of your own. I think every preacher who has a message to communicate should blog with some consistency. In the next post I’ll show you how to get started.

I had no idea what this project would turn into in one year’s time. So for today, I want to share the progress with you. You are why Preaching Donkey has lasted a year....

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