I’ve been sick all week, and fortunately was able to finish my sermon for tomorrow early in the week. I’ve been trying to get away from using a manuscript while preaching, but tomorrow a manuscript is about all I can manage. Stupid jerkface allergies.
I don’t preach often, and the first few times I did, I used a manuscript. Because that’s what I thought you were supposed to do. It eased my nerves to know that the hard work was done (in writing the sermon) and that I just needed to show up and read with passion.
Then, I gave a short sermon once with simple notecards and my preaching world was changed. I was able to speak more passionately and with greater clarity, bringing more of my personality into the message. If the Spirit led me to share something a little differently than I had planned, I had the flexibility to do that, because I wouldn’t lose my place. I was more deeply present in the moment, experiencing the truly awesome feeling of being connected to the congregation, to myself, and to God. A humbling experience to say the least.
I’m trying not to beat myself up too much for using a manuscript tomorrow. After all, I can barely focus enough to write this post.
What are your thoughts on preaching? Do you prefer a manuscript or notes?