Where does a Preacher Keep The Notes?

OK, if you are using limited notes, where do you keep them?

1. In the Pulpit

Here the preacher places the limited notes on the pulpit. When done well, the audience may not even recognize or remember that the notes are up there. However it can be a disaster when done poorly. The other day I saw a preacher who would look at his notes, leave the pulpit say a few words, walk back look at his notes, leave again. It became completely obvious that the preacher either didn’t know his manuscript or he does not have the gift to preach with limited notes. Wherever you keep your notes, you must know them well.

Libro vuoto

 2. In your Bible

Here the preacher tapes the notes to the Bible.  Much like the previous approach, if you look too much at your notes or it becomes distracting that you are looking at your notes, it can be worse than simply reading your manuscript.

Some preachers are very good at making you think that they are reading the Bible, but they are glancing at their notes. Some are very poor at it. If you can’t pull it off, put your notes in the pulpit.

 3. In Your mind

Here the preacher memorizes the notes.   It is easier to be natural in this approach, but it also requires much more time to become familiar with the material. 

Wherever you keep your notes, the best sermons are those that the preacher is very aware and knowledgeable of his/her notes and does not require too much reference to them.  So whether you read, follow an outline, or go up without any notes, it is best to know your notes, wherever you put them.



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.

Posted in blog, Without Notes
2 comments on “Where does a Preacher Keep The Notes?
  1. Kenneth Jenkins says:

    Professor Cox, thanks for the advice giving especially those who are just starting out.

  2. Patti says:

    What if you preach from a manuscript?

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