For the last week (actually, a little longer), I have been making sure to put to practice what I talked about last week in the first part of this series. It seems like such a no-brainer, and perhaps I need this a lot more than any other preacher that might be reading this; but making sure to labor a little longer at familiarizing myself with the passages I'm going to be using in my preaching, and making sure to mark them in both my notes and the Bible I'm using while I preach, has already helped me significantly.
In the last four messages (or so) that I have preached, I haven't had to be embarrassed for turning to the wrong place and not being able to find the verse I was looking for... or making the congregation wait for me as I fumble around trying to get to the right page while I keep talking (I'm a poor multi-tasker).
So, having been working on the important practice of being more familiar with scripture passages (although there are obviously a whole lot of other factors I haven't addressed), and recognizing the benefits of adding just a few simple steps to my sermon preparation; it is now time for me to move on to another important issue--transitions.
Notice: That last paragraph was actually an attempt at the very practice I'm addressing in this week's article.
Week 2 - Transitional statements
We all use these regularly, to some degree, without thinking much about it, but the idea here is that we work on improving in this area so that our thoughts are more clearly received by our audience. Let me give some very basic examples:
Do you see how those sentences could help the audience understand my thought process as I take them from one section of my presentation to the next? This is something I have been working on doing in my sermons to emphasize my points; however, I think the following practice will help me take this to the next level:
Hopefully, this will establish a habit that will eventually allow us to make these transitions more naturally without spending a whole lot of time working on them. But for now, let's labor at them the best we can! Let me know if you have anything to add that would help, or if you decide to join the challenge.
God bless you, and may your passion for ministry grow as you addict yourself to it. (1 Corinthians 16:15)
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