Friday, January 11, 2008

Physical Prep Before Preaching

Tim Warner over at Mother Tongue Annoyances has a couple of good articles on preparing yourself physically before you speak. Let me focus on one of them.

(Caveat: I have no idea of Warner's religious background. He is a computer programmer, not a preacher. He speaks in terminology that is a little too Buddhist for my tastes, but I think that his advice is sound).

He particularly recommends:

  • Loosen Your Body
  • Wiggle Your Toes
  • Practice Deep Breathing

You loosen your body by learning different (subtle) "mini-stretches, isometric holds and subtle yoga poses with my neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, back, torso, legs, and feet in order to improve cardiovascular flow as well as to discharge nervous energy." [cph: I know the mention of yoga poses is heresy to some people, so just stick with the stretches & isometrics if that bothers you]

Stretching helps you to be--and appear--open (as opposed to closed) to your audience and it helps to increase blood flow to your body, particularly to your brain.

Wiggling your toes has the remarkable ability to distract your attention away from any nervousness.

Deep breathing has the dual benefit of relaxing you as well as flooding your blood with good oxygen saturation to better prepare you.

You can see the Warner's entire post here.

Physical prep does not negate the work of the Holy Spirit. I can be as relaxed and ready to go and still speak a spirit-less sermon (been there, done that). But dispelling nervousness and relaxing my body (IMHO) helps make me better prepared to be used by the Spirit. As a mentor of mine said, "God can use any vessel, but there are some vessels that are better prepared to be used than others." I still think that is good advice.

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