April 17, 2011 — 9:32 PM
Going off script
I've been preaching from an outline now for about a year. It works really well at Mission Bay Community Church where I do most of my preaching. This is a more informal setting where the sermon is conversational - actually inviting feedback from the congregants during the sermon itself.
But I've also used it in more formal settings like the church where I did my internship as a seminarian, Old First Presbyterian Church. I was happy to receive positive feedback from a parishioner at Old First after my most recent visit to their pulpit. She told me that she noticed how much I had grown in my preaching since my time as an intern. Most especially she noted how much more eye contact I had with people while I was preaching.
Preaching from an outline has allowed me to have a more conversational tone while still getting my main points out in the order that makes the most sense. And it allows me to have a greater amount of eye contact with the people I'm interacting with. I have really enjoyed learning to use this style of preaching.
Having said that, I still use a full-on manuscript when preaching to the seminary crowd. My motto is: know your audience. The conversational tone doesn't play as well there. So I'll stick to my notes there (for now).
This evening I preached a Palm Sunday sermon from MBCC. I called it: I need a hero!