Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Being a Pulpiteer not a Puppeteer, or Finiding One's Voice in the Pulpit

In addition to his blog DeYoung, Restless and Reformed, Kevin DeYoung has begun blogging over at 9Marks. In a recent post he talks about a subject that I have sensed myself struggling with for over a year now--learning to be yourself in the pulpit instead of consciously or unconsciously channeling someone else.

As I have been learning to preach, I think this has been the hardest thing to learn (which I haven't yet). It is not learning to study in the original languages, biblical theology, systematic theology, or even speaking in front of a congregation that has been difficult for me, but presenting what I find in my voice according to my personality. DeYoung frames my struggle (and the struggle of most young pastors) well:
One of the hardest things for any preacher to learn, especially young preachers, is to simply be yourself. Don’t put on someone else’s passion or humor or learning. And don’t take off your own personality because one of your heroes doesn’t share it exactly. Go ahead and learn from the best. But your congregation needs to hear you on Sunday, not an impression of the preacher you wish you were.
I am glad to hear that he feels that he is growing into his own skin. I look forward to that day myself, when I, "Let [my] person constantly be refined by the Spirit of God, and let the truth of God’s word shine through [my] own personality."

Read his entire post here, and then think of some ways to encourage your pastor!

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