Finding Your Preaching Voice
Last week I listened to the Annual Preaching Seminar presented by The Rocket Company you can find them on Twitter at #preachbettersermons. Every year is a time of inspiration and learning and this year was no different. One of the teachings that struck me was about finding your preaching voice. I’ve reproduced the notes here with some comments and links that I hope you will find helpful.
The strength of the teacher is content.
The weakness of the teacher is connection.
For the teacher, the why is important.
Answer this question for your audience” Why is this content important?
The days of “Last week we were in Luke 2:5-7, now let’s open our Bibles to Luke 2:7-11 which is our text today.” are over. The teacher assumes that the audience is as passionate about the material as they are. In order to get the opportunity to share your great content you need to capture the attention of your audience. Here are 18 tips on grabbing attention.
The strength of the motivator is connection.
The weakness of the motivator is procrastination.
For the motivator the what is important.
Answer this question for your audience: What do I want them to do?
For the motivator the first part of the message is easy because they are great at connecting with the audience. However, they need to do more than just engage and entertain. They need to give their motivation some “legs” you can’t leave them hanging at the end of your message with just a good feeling. Having trouble when it comes to applying your message? Check out this Sermon Application Grid
The strength of the storyteller is engaging the audience.
The weakness of the storyteller is where.
Answer this for your audience: Where am I taking this audience?
The temptation of the storyteller can be to fill up the message with stories that do not propel the message forward. Every story needs to take the ball further down the field. If you have trouble with illustrations here is some help from H.B. Charles Jr.
The strength of the visionary is purpose.
The weakness of the visionary is how.
Answer this question for your audience: How exactly are we going to change the world?
The visionary is similar to the motivator. Martin Luther Jr. was a visionary, a person who had the purpose of changing society and he had a plan to go with his purpose. Having trouble with applying your sermon? Here’s help Learning The Art of Sermon Application
The end of the session struck me and really helped explain why some preaching/speaking events falls short for no apparent reason. Just as there are different preaching voices, there are different preaching/speaking environments: teaching, motivating and storytelling. Each environment has a different purpose and if our voice doesn’t match the environment then there will be a disconnect. Bringing a teaching voice to a motivating environment is a mismatch that will be felt by speaker and audience. Therefore, when asked to speak be sure to understand the purpose of the event and adjust your message to suit it is appropriately.
What’s your primary voice? Mine is storytelling. Whatever your voice, accept it and develop it. But don’t forget that there will be people in your audience who will relate to the other voices. Therefore, adding some of those elements will enhance the impact of your message.