Preaching Without Notes

My good friend and local pastor, Nick Smith, finally gave in and decided to post some great quotes and thoughts he has accumulated over some time regarding extemporaneous preaching. We have shared thoughts and compared preaching strategy for some time and have both generally agreed that we need to shorten the outlines that we take up to the pulpit. Not everyone will agree with this conviction; but, as Nick points out in the following quote from Dabney, there are many compelling reasons to preach in an extemporaneous fashion:

Reading a manuscript to the people can never, with any justice, be termed preaching…. In the delivery of the sermon there can be no exception in favor of the mere reader. How can he whose eyes are fixed upon the paper before him, who performs the mechanical task of reciting the very words inscribed upon it, have the inflections, the emphasis, the look, the gesture, the flexibility, the fire, or oratorical actions? Mere reading, then, should be sternly banished from the pulpit, except in those rare cases in which the didactic purpose supersedes the rhetorical, and exact verbal accuracy is more essential than eloquence.

© 2011, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.

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