An “itinerant” speaker is someone who speaks to different audiences in different locations. They differ from most “regular” speakers because they don’t tend to preach to the same audience twice. While there are several benefits to this kind of speaking, in this article I’d like to outline five common mistakes.
Image courtesy of Flickr
Before I do, let me briefly recount my story. Over the last few years I’ve had the privilege of being an itinerant preacher. Since I’ve been studying full time and haven’t been responsible for my own congregation, my employers have kindly given me the freedom to accept invitations to preach elsewhere. Consequently, I’ve been fortunate enough to preach to a variety of different audiences.
Writing and delivering a sermon is like raising a child. A lot of pain, love and late nights go into getting it ready to launch… but even the slightest criticism can sting like hell’s fire. At least that’s what I imagine it’s like to raise a child, since I’ve never actually done it.
Image courtesy of Flickr
I once preached a sermon after which my youth minister Scott Petty told me that I’d preached like a whiny little girl. It hurt for a week. Although it was pretty brutal at the time, I’m convinced that he did it in love and that it made me a much better preacher as a result. He told me to get to the point, put it clearly, and sound like a dude. Pretty simple, but very helpful.
“You sounded like a whiney little girl.” That’s what my youth minister told me after my first evangelistic sermon. Tough love. I’m still no expert, but thankfully I’ve learnt a bit from the experience.
It’s worth saying that ‘finishing well’ is incredibly important. I was recently invited to speak at an event in which one of the organisers wrote the following words to me about the appeal:
Colin James is one of Australia’s leading corporate speakers, educators and facilitators. When it comes to public speaking- he’s the man. He’s also a very generous man, and was kind enough to give some friends and I a bit of time earlier this year.
According to Colin, most effective communicators will wear one of four ‘hats’ at different points during their presentations. Which hat they wear at what point will depend on what they’re trying to achieve.
I’ve outlined the four hats below and tried to flesh out what they might look like for a preacher.
I recently explained how I preach without notes. As far as I can tell, preaching without notes is becoming increasingly common (probably due to the influence of people like Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill). In this post I want to explain why I do it.
It needs to be said that preaching without notes is not for everybody. It would be a mistake to think that preaching without notes is the only way to preach, or even the best way. It’s just one of the many! So if you are going to preach without notes, have a good reason.
I’ve been preaching without a full text script for three years now. I’ve also recently had a number of people ask how I do this. This post is an attempt to help and assist those who are curious.
It was Steve Chong from Kirk Place who first challenged me to do it (and apparently Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill who first challenged him). How much my own method resembles either of theirs now I can’t say. What I do know is that Steve put me onto a computer program (and Mark him) that has enabled me to do it.