About a week before Sunday, May 1st, 2022, I received confirmation that I was going to be preaching for the first time. To say I was nervous would be the understatement of the century.
I immediately couldn't sleep and every time I sat down to write my sermon, I was hit with massive amounts of writer's block.
I wanted to write this mini-blog because I figure that I'm not the only person who has ever gone through this experience so I wanted to give my fellow "first-time preachers" some advice.
1. Pray... A LOT:
I am someone who likes to think of myself as being pretty consistent in my prayer life, but I turned it up 10X this week. I prayed a lot myself, but I asked everyone I spoke with to keep me in prayer as well. I prayed for clarity. I prayed for revelation, I prayed for inspiration, but most importantly I prayed that this message wouldn't be coming from me, but that it would be directly coming from God. I wanted the message to be what God wanted these people to hear, not what thought they needed to hear. I also prayed every time I sat down to write, but it wasn't until the Friday before the sermon that my writer's block had been lifted. I was actually still editing it a bit the morning of.
2. Seek Counsel:
I reached out to almost every pastor/preacher that I knew. If you have direct access to people who have successfully done whatever it is that you're about to do, you would be out of your mind not to ask them for advice. This advice actually goes beyond seeking counsel for preaching, but that's a subject for another day.
3. Binge-Watch Your Favorite Preachers:
I watched my favorite preachers and sermons with more focus and intensity than when I was trying to help my wife catch up on the past 12 years of Marvel movies before the new Spider-Man came out.
4. Have People in Your Life Who Encourage You:
This was part of the journey that I didn't intentionally do myself, but it was something that I realized during the week leading up to that Sunday. I am blessed to have so many people in my life that support and encourage me to continue pursuing my passion for Jesus Christ. I can't even begin to express how much each word of encouragement helped me.
5. Have a Team of People You Trust:
My good friends Ernesto and James were running all of the logistics, from hosting to finding a room, to finding a microphone (which we didn't use lol), and everything in between. Them and the other Seacret Agents (if you know, then you know) working with them are such servent leaders that I had nothing but confidence that all the logistics would be handled to perfection.
6. Release Control and Let The Holy Spirit Guide You:
The morning of the sermon, I completely surrendered. But the reason that I was able to surrender was because I knew that I had done everything on my part that I could possibly do. There was literally no more preparation I could have taken. I took control of the things I needed to and surrendered the rest to God. I walked into the room in what I could best describe as "peaceful anxiety". I was nervous, but I knew that I was no longer in control anymore. This was to be none of me, and all of God.
Glory to God, the sermon went better than I ever expected. Ernesto did a great job hosting, James did a great job preaching the Spanish sermon (at least from what I could understand lol!), 3 people raised their hands to put their trust in Christ and countless more came up for prayer afterward. Sunday was a huge success!
So if you are someone who is thinking of getting into preaching or you already have your first session coming up, I hope these 5 steps helped you.
And if you'd like to watch the video of my first-time preaching, I'll be leaving it below.