I am very excited that you will be teaching at Life Church. Thank you so much! I have a few notes that I wanted to share with you as you prepare to teach at Life Church:
1. Your teaching should be 30 minutes long. However, if you are teaching on the first Sunday of the month, your teaching should be 20 minutes long, because this is our Table Sunday when we have a shorter service to make space for sharing a meal together. Please practice a few times and know how long your sermon is. Below, you can see the general flow of our service.
2. Please take the first minute to briefly introduce yourself. We have a lot of new people coming to our church since moving to Soundhouse. Not everyone is going to know who you are, so a short intro would be helpful.
3. Please assume that there will always be at least one person in the audience who is not a follower of Jesus. Your teaching should aim to edify the body, but it should always be accessible even to someone who has never opened a Bible before.
4. Your teaching should engage the brain, the heart, and the feet. Here’s what I mean by that. There should be a clear exposition of the passage that helps the listener understand what it means (“I get it!”). Your sermon should help the listener take that information and experience its truth at a heart level (“That’s me!”). And your sermon should help the listener practically live out the truth on Monday (“I can do that!”). This is where good examples and illustrations will really help.
5. I want to encourage you to use slides as a part of your teaching. I have been using slides because I really believe they help bring focus to the big points that I want to make. It has been my experience that people remember what they see a lot more than what they hear. I use Keynote to create the slides, and have it on my iPad next to my teaching notes and change the slides along as I go. You can borrow my iPad to do that, or one of the volunteers can switch the slides for you. (See more below.)
6. Please consider having your teaching end flowing into ministry time. Ministry time is simply a time we set aside for people to get prayer in response to the message. So as you prepare your teaching, if you feel led to go into prayer ministry time, please do so. Briefly explain what prayer ministry is, ask the prayer team to stand by the windows and people can go to them to get prayer. I also make the point to say, “We want to pray for you even if it’s not related to anything that I shared. If you need prayer for anything, we would love to pray for you."
7. I think it is helpful for the teacher and the worship leader to connect regarding the message. If the worship leader knows the specific theme, they can take that into consideration as they prepare songs. It would also be helpful for them to know if there will be a ministry time, so that they can plan accordingly.
8. It is not uncommon for preachers to feel down after giving their message. Personally, Sunday afternoons have been some of the most difficult times for me spiritually. The enemy loves to discourage God’s people, especially after we step out in faith to serve. So, after each message, I make it a point to create space (even if it’s just 30 minutes) to be with God. During these times, I pray and ask God to speak his truth over me, to give me his affirmation. And I make it a point to give the sermon back to God. “God, please take this sermon as an offering and cause it to bear fruit in people’s lives. I can’t change people. Only you can. Please take this and use it as you see fit!” However you do it, I think it’s very important for preachers to create healthy Sunday afternoon habits that will allow us to be refreshed after we give so much of ourselves.
9. Please come to Soundhouse by 9:30am so that we can pray together before the service. This will allow our team to pray for you and encourage you, and this can also be a time for you to share with our team about what you think God may want to do with us.
10. Relax and have fun! :) Whether your sermon is excellent or horrible, the burden is God’s to carry. He can take our 5 loaves and 2 fish and multiply it to satisfy his people. He will do this. Jesus will build his church! So relax and have fun!
I have been praying for you. And I will continue to pray for you. I am always available if you need to talk to me about anything!