Preach the key parts. If you don't have time to practice preaching the entire sermon again, decide which parts of the sermon are most significant. Usually, the key parts include the introduction and conclusion, along with an illuminating illustration. Practice preaching these key parts using no notes at all.
Questions for consideration
1. Consider how the process above is similar to or different from what you already do to practice what you preach. How has your process of practicing the sermon changed over the years of your preaching ministry?
2. Adopt or adapt this process for the next three or four sermons you preach. After this trial period, reflect on the following questions: Did you enjoy the preaching event more because you practiced what you preached? Did your congregation notice a change in your sermon delivery? If so, what changes did they observe? Did the process of practicing the sermon free you to maintain consistent eye contact with listeners during the actual preaching event?
Lenny Luchetti is professor of proclamation and Christian Ministries at Wesley Seminary, a graduate school of Indiana Wesleyan University.
Copyright © 2014 by the author or Christianity Today/Leadership Journal.
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