When one thinks about preaching without notes, usually they think about memorizing a lot of data.Â This is not the only way to do it.Â In fact it is probably the one that requires the most work and effort.Â However, This is one method, but it is by no means either the only method or even the preferred method.
So what is the secret to preaching without notes? The major secret is that you do not have to remember every word you will present. In other words you are to memorize “what” you are to preach rather than “how” you will preach it.
So in preparation you need to think about the concepts that you will present. Try to memorize the concepts, and then at the moment of preaching, you translate the concepts into words. When you practice preaching, you will practice putting the concepts that you have memorized into words. Certainly everytime you practice the sermon you will not only understand your concept better, but it will help you understand how to preach those concepts better.
So what are the benefits? Let us assume that you are preaching and can tell that a particular concept needs more illumination. On the fly you can add more illustrations and examples. Let us assume that you get up and need to cut your sermon down from 45 minutes to 20 minutes. You can simply cut down on illustrations or spend much less time on each concept.
In short, memorizing what you will say opens the way for an interaction with the people to help you determine how you will say it.