What happens when a “non speaking” pastor…speaks?
I can’t share what happens with everyone else but I can share my approach to speaking. Ironically, I speak more than I let on in my writings. I do monthly baby dedications and occasional chapels with our staff. With Pastor Craig out on sabbatical, I seemed to speak more at functions where he would lead. I am used to that role of “behind the stage” speaking.
Recently, I was asked to speak to our Married Life ministry and it was so cool to prepare a “message.” I actually get more out of the preparation part than you would think. I like reading the commentaries and Hebrew/ Greek resources. I am always inspired and intrigued by the Bible. The daily applications are right there when you dig into it and go beyond “just reading the book.” Some great resources for your own bible study would include: bible.com, blueletterbible.com, and parallelbible.com. These sites allow you to really get some historical, cultural and definitive insights into God’s word.
The next thing I work on is “the need.” If I am speaking for another person’s ministry, I will ask them if there is anything they specifically want me to address. In this case, Pastor Chris wanted me to focus on communication and expectations. I have learned that a leader almost always knows the needs of his group and I will serve him better to go with his blessing than doing my own thing. The only time I haven’t gotten a “need” is when Pastor Craig will ask me to share what is on my heart or do the Christmas Eve late service. I am a big believer in speaking out of the “outflow” of what God is showing you in your own spiritual walk. If you do that, it will be vibrant and alive because you are living it out. And I cannot downplay it, I love doing the Christmas Eve late service. The traditional songs, candle light and a story that brings eternal hope…if you can’t get excited about that, c’mon!
The final thing I focus on when I speak is the “bottom line.” What is the one phrase that a person listening will take away from your message. Let’s be honest, we live in a culture where people are inundated with messages all day long. Andy Stanley developed this principle and I whole heartedly agree that a speaker needs to have a clear take away from a message. He asks, “what do you want them to know and what do you want them to do?” My goal is to answer both those questions with a nugget that can be implemented that week and will be a catalyst for further growth to come.
Do I miss speaking on a regular basis? Not really – I love leading and developing others to lead in the church environment. It is truly an honor when someone asks you to speak into a group of people. When I do speak, I enjoy the preparation and the moment! Helping people grow in their relationship with Christ, leadership or their own talents…what a rush!