Teaching Tip 347 | “Plain Speaking – Preaching is organised conversation” | Malcolm Cox

Here is your 2-minute tip based on chapter 2 of the book, “Plain speaking: How to preach and teach effectively” by David Bercot.

  • Speaking in a congregational setting is not making a speech. That’s for politicians and professional orators. Preaching is more like having a conversation. Having a conversation is much less stressful that ‘making a speech’. Let me illustrate.
  • Imagine you are in the fellowship at the end of a church service. Someone asks you how you became a Christian. You start telling them. It is easy. You don’t need a script. You hardly need to think about what to say. It just comes out. Also imagine that as you tell your story to that person that another person joins you, then one or two more. By the time you finish you have a small crowd around you. Does that change anything? Not really. Perhaps you speak a little louder, but otherwise it is still a conversation.
  • That’s what we are talking about when we say that preaching and teaching are conversations. “…preaching is simply organised conversation.”

Having said that there are a few ways in which preaching differs from conversation:

  1. Prayer – what does God want me to say?
  2. Preparation – a new story needs organising
  3. Point – what specific point does God want me to make for this group on this day?
  4. Delivery – what adjustments do I need to make to my conversational style given the circumstances in which I will deliver this lesson?

Do you agree with my assertion that speaking to a church is a ‘conversation’?
In what way is it similar and in what way different?
How can this idea help you in your speaking?

Has today’s tip been worth two minutes of your time? I hope so.

Next week: Preparing seven days a week

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Remember to keep calm, and carry on teaching.

God bless, Malcolm