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The Great Delivery Debate

3 preachers duke it out over the age-old question, “Manuscript, notes, or nothing?”
The Great Delivery Debate

Performing Without a Net

Why I practice the discipline of paper-free preaching
Jerry Andrews

No manuscript. No outline. No notes. These guidelines have made me a better preacher.

I wasn't always a paperless preacher. In seminary, I was trained to prepare manuscripts, conditioned to believe that writing out my sermon would help me think more clearly.

My first pastorate shook me. It was a rural church in western Pennsylvania; most of the people were farmers. Fresh out of school, I was eager to share the fruit of my two master's degrees. Within six months, it became painfully obvious that the congregation didn't care for my polished, scholarly manuscripts. I failed to connect.

I consciously began reducing my manuscript to an outline, my outline to a page of notes, my page of notes to a three-by-five card, and my three-by-five card to nothing. The process took nine months, but once I was manuscript-free, it was much easier to engage my people.

Today, I still believe paperless preaching ...

March
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