Don’t Rush, Timing is Everything

Great preaching is more than about the transfer of knowledge, but it is about facilitating an experience with God by God’s word. To accomplish this task some attention needs to be spent on what is called “style.” Preachers should ensure that the nonverbal components of the message are consistent with the verbal. This includes recognizing that how you say something is just as important as what you say. Please do not mishear me. I am not saying that style is more important than content, I am saying that your style is a part of the content and can detract from the message or enhance the message.

One of the ways that you can facilitate a better sermonic experience is in timing. Timing is the skill that the preacher has in slowing down or speeding up the progress of the sermon to make sure that the majority of the people end up at the conclusion of the sermon with the spiritual experience by God through the preacher. One of the problems that I have noted that new preachers make is to “rush.” Instead of recognizing that the people are not on board with the preacher,sometimes they simply go to the next part of the sermon. They start the celebration when people are still laboring to understand the points. They move to the next point without laying the foundation from the previous one. They start shouting before people even understand what they are shouting about.

Overcoming this problem requires that the preacher remember that the sermonic event is not a monologue between the preacher and the people. Neither is it a monologue as God speaks through the preacher to the people. No it is a multifaceted conversation between the Spirit, preacher, and the people. Let each have their say before moving on to the next point. The best way to keep from rushing is to make sure that all three of these entities have their say before moving forward. The people will let you know if they understand. They people will let you know if there needs to be more convincing. The Spirit will let you know of added thoughts and ideas that you need to incorporate. And you as the preacher will know where you want to go. If all have their say, then you will have a better chance of having the sermon to progress as God intended.

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Sherman Haywood Cox II

Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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