Although there are plenty of pastors who dislike manuscript writing, you can’t deny the numerous benefits that come along with the practice. Here are some of those undeniable advantages of writing manuscripts:
(1) It will teach you to craft logical and coherent sermons.
I highly recommend manuscript writing especially to new preachers. Writing a full manuscript will teach you to craft a sermon in a logical and coherent manner. It’ll force you to think through everything you plan on saying. This will help ensure that your message makes sense to the audience. With a manuscript in hand, you can clearly see the logical movement from the introduction, to the body, and then finally to the conclusion. You can also tell when a part of the manuscript isn’t coherent with the rest and adjust accordingly.
Of course, you can be logical and coherent without a manuscript. But for those of you who are starting out, manuscript writing will help train your mind towards that direction.
(2) It will help you communicate more clearly.
As I’ve mentioned before, preachers should aim to deliver God’s message in the clearest way possible. If you aren’t clear enough on stage, you might want to pour in extra time and effort crafting a better manuscript. This practice is especially important if you’re not good at thinking on your feet or if your thoughts get jumbled easily. You won’t have to worry about getting lost, forgetting anything important, or confusing your audience.
(3) It will make your wording more precise.
There are times when you need to be incredibly precise with your words. Oftentimes, precision is necessary when you need to explain a theological concept. You don’t want to run the risk of confusing people theologically and leading them in the wrong direction. Remember, Biblical principles form the foundation for application. Misinterpreted principles can lead to disastrous ways of applying them. Writing a manuscript will help you think through your theological explanation and help you word it in the best way possible.
(4) It will help you craft better stories.
I always encourage pastors to become great storytellers. Stories have the power to captivate an audience and pack a powerful point at the same time. Some of the best orators (like Jesus) used timely stories to communicate lessons. Manuscript writing will teach you to craft stories that are coherent, engaging, and memorable.
(5) It will give you a copy of your sermon.
One of the really practical advantages of manuscript writing is that you’ll end up with a copy of your sermon. There are good reasons why you’d want to keep a copy. If you needed to preach on a passage again, you could simply bring out the old manuscript and transform it for the new audience. Biblical principles always remain the same. How you deliver those principles in a sermon vary depending on the time and circumstances of your audience. You’ll be able to use the old manuscript as a reference for the new one you’ll craft.
Of course, if you want a copy of your sermon without having to write down a manuscript, you could opt to record the message on audio or video format. Do note, however, that it takes more effort to listen to an audio or video recording of a sermon than reading it.
In the next article, we’ll look at the opposing camp to find a couple of benefits of going without a manuscript.
Join the discussion: What other advantages are there for writing manuscripts?