Main Topic: Finding Ministry Opportunities Pt 2
[Author: Tim Lucas]
We spent quite a bit of time in last episode talking about the unrealistic expectation of getting paid to minister early in your ministry. This week we start the continuation of our discussion by talking about tips for for when you actually do get asked to preach.
First thing, PRAY! Pray that God will use you. Whether the Pastor gives you a topic or you are responsible for coming up with the topic on your own you absolutely must pray.
I would definitely recommend having your message written out. Trusting your memory and just an outline will often lead to disaster. And don’t let the first time you “preach” your sermon out loud be in front of the congregation. Practice it preferably 4 or 5 times or more. Each time editing your notes and refining them. By going over your notes out loud you will realize some of your sentences are just plain dumb, so delete those, and you will want to add other things. Also by being so comfortable with your notes it will allow you to focus a little more on how the spirit is moving. Also knowing what you are going to say will help you look at the congregation rather than just being glued to your notes.
But nothing you do will completely prepare you for being in front of people if you have never done it.
One thing I strongly caution you against doing is STEALING SOMEONE ELSE’S SERMON! Leaving aside the morality of it, IT WONT WORK. I have seen other people do this and it will absolutely be a train wreck.
Keeping it simple is a very good idea when you are first starting to preach. Trying to preach something profound and deep to impress people with your knowledge or wisdom will often do nothing but make you sound ignorant. Focus on sharing a simple, Biblically sound message.
Paul specifically said I did not come with man’s wisdom and eloquent speech. If anyone could have spoken with eloquence it would have been the apostle Paul. He had been trained by the foremost scholar of his day and certainly his training had included things like public discourse and persuasive speech. But he chose to intentionally not use that, so that he could come in power and in the demonstration of the Spirit. If we insist on using eloquent speech we will rarely see power or spirit demonstration in our ministry.
So how do you have the power and the demonstration of the Spirit? The answer is prayer. Particularly in the book of Luke we see highlighted how often Jesus went alone to pray. As we look over history at the great men and women of God, they all have had remarkable prayer lives.
If you really want to preach, check into having a service at your local jail. Most of the time it just takes some initiative and asking for someone to let you have a service. Sometimes you have to do some sort of certification, but then just preach and let God demonstrate his power. It is great training to preach in a jail or in a nursing home.
So what do you do when you feel like you have a word from God and you aren’t getting asked to preach? Complain to God about it. Seriously, He will not be angry at you for complaining and it is likely that you will get an answer. Definitely don’t start bad mouthing the Pastor, or complaining to other people.
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