We cannot say enough about preparation. Some sage once said that proper preparation prevents poor performance. This is especially true in the preaching moment.
My fellow preachers, I have observed a few advantages of being prepared and will delineate some of them in this article. First, being prepared helps to ease nervousness. For the associate minister and the visiting minister alike preaching in a foreign pulpit can be a terror-filled experience. However, being prepared will help the preacher lesson this “terror.”
Let’s be real, most of the time people come to church expecting to hear a word through their pastor. Many have joined the church because they appreciate the ministry of their pastor. Often these people are taken aback when they see another where the pastor “should be.” Being prepared helps the preacher by allowing the preacher to become a willing and energetic participant in all of the service. The preacher can read the text, sing the congregational hymn and participate in other visible ways. This participation can help the preacher get a feel for the congregation and help to lower the apprehension of the people.
Thus preparation helps both the preacher and the congregation. If you have an especially horror filled moment, remember you prepared and say a quick prayer to God as you participate in the praise of the worship service. Perhaps your fear will be overtaken by your praise.