Thursday, February 21, 2008

Heisler on Internalizing the Message

Spirit led PreachingContinuing this series of quotations from Greg Heisler's Spirit Led Preaching, he addresses the fact that for our preaching to be incarnational, it is not enough to simply present material.  We must have INTERNALIZED the message God has for this time. 

"What are the keys to internalizing the message? How can a preacher more effectively incarnate the truth he will preach?

  1. First the preacher must be committed to prayer. Ask God to burn the truth on your heart first so you can deliver it hot to others. Follow the wisdom of sermon preparation that goes,
  2. Second, the preacher must take time to internalize. You must allow time for the message to germinate in your heart, soul, and mind.
  3. Third, for incarnational preaching to take place, there must be a fresh commitment to clear thinking. Like an Olympic downhill skier who visualizes every inch of the course before the gate is even opened, so the preacher needs to think through the sermon from start to finish, visualizing how he will negotiate every segment.
  4. The fourth key to incarnational preaching is the preacher’s resolution to be himself in the pulpit. Everyone has a preconceived idea or image of what a preacher is supposed to look like and how a preacher should act. The preacher who tries to become all preachers to all people fails because the Spirit has uniquely shaped you and transformed you to be who you are, not someone else."

For me, this is quite a helpful list.  In the interest of not just plagiarizing his work, I have deleted major sections of discussion of each of these points which is worth your time in checking out. 

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