Do you remember when you first started preaching? Back then you might get a whole month’s notice to prepare – what a luxury! Although at the time, it still didn’t feel like enough…
Nowadays within Hillsong Church our main preaching team are used to a week’s notice or even just a couple days – or worse still, if the link from another campus goes down mid-service you’ve got all the time it takes to get up from your seat.
So how do you live and prepare in such a way that you’re always ready with a message?
On a recent Hillsong Leadership Network Google Hangout I got the opportunity to speak to a few of our key preaching team and discovered how they handle speaking at short notice.
It’s important to know what areas we are currently addressing in this season – as a church community, as a city and as a nation. What issues are on people’s mind that we’re trying to bring a God solution to? When your devotions, study and thoughts are immersed in the current season, with an awareness and understanding of current affairs, you are more able to effectively respond with God’s perspective.
Despite having limited time, preparation is essential. As teachers, it is crucial to always be in the Word, meditating and having thoughts prepared – whether you are rostered to speak or not. Proactive preparation means that it is not just for a specific upcoming occasion but being open to ad-hoc opportunities – a youth service, relationship seminar, leadership session, Holy Spirit night, women’s gathering, creative team night, Easter or Advent.
When talking with successful communicators I generally find that they all have one thing in common – a process for organising their thoughts, stories, jokes, illustrations, articles, quotes for future reference. How many times have you heard or seen something and made a mental note for a future message – but then it disappears forever! Although in the short term it takes more effort to be organised, it will save you hours of brain racking and googling on a Saturday night.
Finally, but certainly not least – engage yourself. Your full self. Don’t be afraid of speaking from what you know from experience and what God is speaking to you about in your own life, because often the heart of the message will translate more easily to the congregation and lead to true transformation.
Every situation and preaching engagement has its own challenges. Regardless, it is the preacher’s role to be ready and take the time to prepare what God wants to say, use your skills and strengths to do just that.
This thought was originally shared at a Hillsong Leadership Network Google Hangout. Click below to find out more about the benefits of Hillsong Leadership Network.