Like a basketball player who warms up before a big game, I have my own “pre-game” warm up routine to help me get settled in. Here are some of the things I do before a “big” sermon:
(1) Arrive early.
I try my best to arrive 30 minutes before the service starts. This gives me plenty of time to settle in and accomplish the rest of the items on this list. Arriving 15 minutes before the service begins always means I’ll be rushing to get things done.
(2) Greet people.
Whenever I get to the church, I like to chit-chat a bit with whoever’s there. Oftentimes, a simple “Hi” or “Hello” is enough to appreciate and encourage people. At the end of the day, we’re a community—we’re all family here. It’s nice to find time to catch up with one another.
(3) Give the AVP.
One of the important things I do upon arrival is give my audio-visual presentation (i.e. PowerPoint slides) to the tech crew. This allows the crew to make sure that the AVP is in good working condition and gives them time to troubleshoot any technical problems that may arise. This is especially important if you’re planning to show a short video clip. Video clips are one of the things that are frequently prone to technical issues.
(4) Walk around the stage.
Whenever possible, I take some time to get a feel of the stage. This helps me become familiar with the area I’ll be preaching at. This also allows me to spot any obstacles in the way—the lectern might be too high, cables may be haphazardly scattered around, important equipment like microphones might be missing, etc. Additionally, walking around the stage may help reduce some of the stage fright that you may be experiencing.
(5) Do a sound check.
In addition to walking around the stage, do a sound check with whatever microphone you’ll be using during your sermon. You want to make sure that the microphone is in good working condition and is amplifying your voice in the best way possible. I see microphone issues all the time and a sound check before the service begins might help reduce those problems.
(6) Brief the team.
I always take some time to gather everybody who has a role in the upcoming service. This may include the worship team members, the tech crew, the ushers, and everyone else who’s got something to do. I normally run through the various components of the service highlighting important reminders and special requests. It’s crucial that everybody is on the same page before we begin the service. When all the preparations are done, pray together with the team as all of you enter the Lord’s service for that day.
Join the discussion: What are some of the things you do before a “big” sermon?
See more preaching ideas here: Thoughts on Preaching