WHAT YOU WILL FIND ON THIS PAGE
--by Bobby Liddell
Arranged by Dan Flournoy
Developing leadership in the church is the responsibility of elders and preachers. We firmly believe in the need for training classes for men and boys as a primary means of developing leadership in the Lord's church. We begin with some suggestions for training classes that are practical and helpful in developing the ability to stand before an audience to make announcements, read Scripture, lead prayer, serve communion and preach a sermon.
Here you will find a short training class manual for a men and boys training class.
Every male Christian should have a desire to take an active part in the work and worship of the church. The Bible places great emphasis upon the public worship (Cf.Heb. 10:25; 1 Cor. 11:33). A careful study of the Scriptures reveals the roll of men in leading public worship (1 Tim. 2:1-15; 1 Cor. 14:34-35).
It is a wonderful privilege to stand before a congregation of the Lord's people and lead in prayer, wait on the Lord's Table, make announcements, read the Bible, preach and teach God's word. One should never take the public worship lightly, but earnestly strive to be as well prepared as possible.
The purpose of this class is to help develop the things necessary for effective participation in the public worship. By working together on common problems of standing before an audience, fear will fade and self-confidence can be gained.
If you have a desire to serve God and are willing to take the time and effort necessary to develop yourself, you can be used in a wonderful way for God's glory. If the desire is not there, you will not have the necessary interest to succeed. However, if you truly WANT to improve, you will be more surprised than anyone at the progress you will show in this short course.
Our class motto is: "I will try!" When asked to do something, even if it is something you have never tried before, just say, "I will try!" and as far as you are concerned, the class will be a great success. Remember Paul's statement of faith and courage: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13).
To help students to get used to standing before an audience, we begin with Bible reading. Each student is asked to select a scripture to be read before the class. Keep in mind that reading the Bible is God's way of speaking to us. Therefore, the reader has a sacred responsibility to read correctly and well.
It is important that the audience understands what is being read. Thus, the reader must read clearly and he must himself understand the passage. It is helpful if the reader gives a few words of introduction before reading the passage. He should state the book, chapter and verses to be read. It is helpful to know who is speaking or writing and to who the passage is addressed. For example: "Paul's instruction to the elders of the church in Ephesus is found in our reading from Acts 20:18-35."
Types of Biblical Material
1. Historical Narrative: The account of historical events. Examples include: (1) the Flood, Gen. 6-8; (2) the Exodus, Ex. 14; (3) lives of the Patriarchs or Prophets; (4) the birth of Jesus, Lk. 4; (5) accounts of conversion in Acts: (6) Paul's Journeys.
2. Instructional: That which is intended to inform. Examples include: (1) Proverbs; (2) Romans 13 on Civil Government; (3) 1 Cor 13 on Love; (4) 1 Cor. 15 on the resurrection; (5) Heb. 11 on faith.
3. Oratory: Delivered originally as a speech. Examples include: (1) Joshua's farewell address, Josh. 24; (2) Christ's sermon on the mount, Matt. 5,6,7; (3) Peter's sermon on Pentecost, Acts 2:14-36; (4) Paul's sermon on Mars Hill, Acts 17:22-31.
4. Figurative: Representing something by a resemblance,that which is typical or emblematic. Examples include: (1) Nathaniel's parable, 2 Sam. 12:1-7; (2) Old age, Ecc. 12:1-8; (3) Parables of Jesus, Matt. 13; (4) Allegory, Gal. 4:21-31.
5. Dialogue: Two speakers discussing a subject. Examples include (1) Gen. 3, God speaking to Adam; (2) Job and his "friends"; (3) Mark 12:13-17, Jesus and the Pharisees.
6. Poetry: Expresses the emotions of the writer. Poetry should be read more slowly and deliberately. Examples include, (1) Ex. 15:1-18, The Song of Moses; (2) Job; (3) Psalms; (4) Song of Solomon; (5) the Song of Simeon, Lk. 2:29-32.
Assignment: Ask each student to select a passage of 4 to 8 verses and read it before the group. Encourage east student to stand erect, holding the Bible in one hand with the other hand on top. The reader should be able to see the audience over the top of the Bible and naturally let his eyes scan the page without moving his head. He may want to move his finger down the page from line to line as he reads.
When each student has had a turn at reading before the group, take time for "evaluation." The instructor should note any distracting mannerisms such as a lengthy pause, miss-pronounced words or vocal anomalies. If time permits, ask each one to read a second time, seeking to improve on the delivery.
Announcements are an important part of any meting. Although the announcements are not a part of the worship service, they can add to or detract from it.
In many congregations, the announcements are made before the worship service actually begins. The announcer serves the purpose of calling the audience to attention and gives a welcome on behalf of the congregation.
The announcements are like a miniature speech, having a beginning, middle and end. As with any speech, the announcements should be prepared. Always save the most important until the end. When there are two equally important announcements, make one at the beginning and the other at the end. Put the less important announcements in the middle. Remember the four "C's" for making announcements: Be: CLEAR, CORRECT, COMPLETE, CONCISE.
1. Don't apologize.
2. Don't wait until the last minute to prepare.
3. Don't announce what you don't know.
4. Don't use old phrases like "bear with me..."
5. Don't say "thank you."
6. Don't "turn the service over..."
Stand up and speak up.
2. Proper planning plus proper presentation means confidence.
3. Confidence comes from knowledge...get the facts!
4. Enunciate your words.
5. Be enthusiastic!
Assignment:Ask each class member to prepare an announcement sheet with 6 to 10 items. Let each member take a turn at reading his announcements to the class. When all have had a turn, make any constructive comments that might help correct any distracting mannerisms or mispronounced words.
The Lord's Supper
The Christians of the first century met upon the first day of the week to observe the Lord's supper (Lk. 22:29-30; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:20-33). It is important that one partake in a reverent, spiritual and serious manner. As one helps others to observe the Lord's supper, he must be careful to observe it himself.
Always keep in mind the meaning of the Lord's Supper:
Prayer at the Lord's table
Some Things to Remember
Assignment: Take the class into the auditorium and show them where to stand and which aisles to go down.
The one who leads in public prayer must not only express the thoughts of his heart, but also the thoughts and feelings of those being led. In leading prayer, one speaks to God for the people. Therefore, careful preparation is needed.
One should give thought and consideration to the purpose of the prayer and the needs of the people. The prayer at the beginning of a worship service would be quite different from one at the Lord's table.
Generally, a good pattern to follow in wording a public prayer follows the word A C T S.
A-- Adoration or expressions of praise to
C-- Confession of sins, request for cleansing
T-- Thanksgiving for God's blessings.
S-- Supplication or requests for others needs.
Some Things To Remember
Assignment: Have the class write out a prayer. Have one class member to lead the dismissal prayer. Assign another class member to lead the opening prayer and another the closing prayer at the next class session.
Developing A Sermon
What is a sermon? A sermon is an oral speech based on Biblical truth delivered with a view to persuade the audience to accept and obey God's directives. The apostle Paul charged Timothy to "preach the word!"(2 Tim. 4:2).
There are three things to keep in mind in preparing a sermon. Give the audience (1) Something to know, (2)something to feel, and (3) something to do. It is not enough to just give facts. While knowing the facts is important, there must be something more. Christianity is not just cold facts and formalism, it involves emotion. However, emotion alone amounts to zeal without knowledge which is a dangerous thing(Rom. 10:2). Giving the audience something to do is also important, but there must be some motivation to act. Therefore we say give the audience something to know --impart information. Couple this with motivation --something to feel. Do not leave the audience without some way to put into practice what they have learned. Give them something to do. Call for a response on their part. "Obey the gospel now, while you have time and opportunity."
The overall aim of a sermon is to change people. It may be a change in attitude, behavior or information. The Lord's instruction to Saul of Tarsus is a good example of what preaching is all about. His task was to "open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among them that are sanctified..." (Acts 26:18).
Types of Sermons
How To Outline
Remember that a sermon outline but a skeleton, a supporting framework. It is up to the preacher to put meat on the bones.
There are three basic parts to a sermon outline:
In the introduction, set your subject before the audience. Use some statement that will gain the attention of the audience. Ask a challenging question, quote or read a passage of scripture, or draw attention to a chart.
In the body of the sermon, begin where you and audience agree on some point or proposition. Explain rather than argue. State your points as the sermon progresses. Know your subject, believe it, speak loudly enough to be heard and earnestly drive your lesson home!
In the conclusion, sum up the speech and bring it to a good climax. Marshall Keeble is said quoted as saying: "tell them what your are going to tell them, tell them and then tell them what you told them!" This is a good rule to follow. In the conclusion, briefly summarize what you have said -- do not re-preach the sermon! Where at all possible give a word of compliment and of optimism to the audience. Extend the "Lord's invitation" in such a way that the audience understands that they can come forward to obey the gospel or confess sins and ask for prayer on their behalf.
Building a Sermon Outline:
Possible texts: Mark 13:37, Matt. 26:41, Luke 21:36, 1 Cor. 16:13
Remember these simple rules from Cicero
Some "Don'ts" for the Speaker
Learn to relax before you speak. Take several deep breaths and slowly exhale. Open and close your fist several times. Remember that YOU are the master of the situation..."and there isn't a one in the audience that can preach a lick!"
Assignment:Ask each class member to prepare a 5 to 7 minute lesson to be delivered at the next class session.
1. What is the Bible?
2. The Meaning of Self-denial (Matt. 16:21-27).
3. A Wise Son (Prov. 15:20).
4. The Glorious Church (Eph. 5:22-27).
5. Daily Bible Study (Acts 17:11).
6. The Whole Duty of Man (Ecc. 12:13).
7. The Joy of Christianity.
8. Christian Influence (Matt. 5:14-16).
9. Advise and Counsel (Prov. 15:20).
10. What Have They Seen In Thy House? (2 Kings 20:15).
11. The Sin of Laziness (Prov. 6:6).
Evaluation is a vital part of any training program. So called "constructive criticism" is often taken negatively. We are not interested in mere fault finding with no suggestions for improvement . Therefore we use the term "evaluation."
The primary purpose of evaluation is to give the speaker the advantage of knowing quickly and honestly the reaction of his hearers. While the sermon is fresh in his mind and theirs, it is possible to recall and discuss the elements which made the sermon impressive and those elements that were detrimental.
Individuals may develop speech habits and mannerisms unknowingly. The members of the class may be able to observe these mannerisms and help the speaker to improve.
Evaluation should include choice of topic, material used in presentation, tonal quality, enunciation, pronunciation, facial expression and gestures.
Usually the instructor serves as the evaluator. However, there are times when one or two class members are asked to evaluate a speaker. Whoever serves in this capacity needs to have a generous supply of good sense, good humor, tact and discrimination. He must sense what is good, what is bad, and what is negligible in the manner of deliver. He must seek out the important matters and overlook nonessentials. He must ask, "did the gestures, movement, accent, or whatever the mannerism may be, distract attention from the speaker's message?" If it did, then it should be pointed out and eliminated. If it did not interfere with close attention, forget it. Keep in mind that improvement is the true purpose of all evaluation.
Evaluation of a sermon must of necessity take into consideration Biblical accuracy. If a speaker miss applies a passage or makes an unscriptural argument, this must be corrected. Try to avoid unnecessary controversy. Remember Paul's admonition, "prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thess. 5:21).
Assignment:After each class member makes his 5 to 7 minute sermon, spend a few minutes in "evaluation." It is usually best for the instructor to serve as the "evaluator." However, he may ask for input from the class from time to time.
When all have had an opportunity to participate, it may be well to conclude the training series with a special class night where the participants families are invited. Each member could deliver his short sermon (depending on how large the class is). This could be followed by a brief "graduation" ceremony where each of the class members is given a certificate of achievement.
The Preacher and His Family
One of the greatest challenges facing a preacher is the challenge to fulfill all of his God-given responsibilities to his family. Due to the nature of his work, he faces potentially greater demands and dangers, as husband and father, than do others. Yet, God has greatly favored him with the opportunity to have a family (Luke ; 1 Cor. 9:5; cf. 1 Tim. 4:3), and the blessings far outweigh the costs (Gen. 2:7–25; Psa. 128; Pro. ; Mat. 19:3–8).
No greater, more fulfilling, human relationship is possible than marriage (1 Cor. 7; Heb. 13:4; cf. SoS.), and no earthly joy quite compares with having children (Psa. 127:3–4). But, in spite of all this, there is the possibility a preacher might lose sight of his commitments in this area and neglect his family. How could this happen?
Faithful preachers gladly give their time and energy, often make financial sacrifices, and expend themselves mentally, emotionally, and physically in order to preach the Gospel, reach the lost, and build up the saved (2 Tim. 4:5; 1 Cor. 16:15). Preaching is, in many ways, the hardest work one could ever undertake, and demands one's best efforts and most fervent devotion. Therein lies a danger—that one may neglect his family to devote himself more to preaching. Especially do younger, less experienced preachers, with almost boundless zeal, need to realize the danger of neglecting their families. But they are not alone in facing this temptation. What does a preacher's family need?
His Family Needs His Time
Time is the preacher's valued possession, constant consideration, and most tenacious enemy. Some men have devoted so much time to doing good things (i.e., to church work, Bible studies, visiting, meetings with elders and members, participating in social and civic groups, and to preaching appointments out of town) they have hardly any time left for their families. Thinking they were doing right, they came home one day to find children who did not know them, and wives who no longer loved them.
Too late, they learned the lesson: A preacher's family needs his time. What a needless tragedy! A man can do the work God expects of him as a preacher, and also be the husband and father God expects him to be. God does not require one to neglect one of His commands in order to keep another.
A preacher's family deserves its portion of his time. Therefore, the preacher must set aside time for his loved ones, and guard it like a bulldog. As a husband, he should take the time to please his wife—to do for her what she wants, just because she wants it, and he loves her (Eph. –33; Col. 3:19). She is not asking too much to want her portion of his time. If he does not demonstrate that she has it, after a while she may grow tired of being without him and doubt his love for her, causing serious problems to lurk just around the corner. She did not marry him to become—essentially—a wid-ow. She longs to be with him, and they need time together—to share in interests and engage in them together (SoS. –8:3).
As a father, he should take the time to be with his children, because they are his children and he loves them. He did not bring them into this world that they might be as orphans, without a father to love and care for them. They need the instruction only a father can give (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21) and the praise, which counts only when a father gives it. For this reason he should make time to be with them, pray with them, listen to them, play with them, and to go to their ball games and school functions.
The initial disappointment of looking for one's father in the audience at a child's performance, and not finding him, soon turns to resentment of whatever kept him from sharing this important time. Many children whose fathers are preachers have confided their bitterness over being robbed of their father's time. They confess to "hating" the fact that their father was a preacher, and that they would never be a preacher or be married to one. Others have gone astray because—at least partly—of neglect (even though unintentional) by their fathers. While the preacher was trying to save the world, he lost his children. Clearly, neglect of one's family is a problem that can have eternal consequences.
The preacher may have to plan better, rearrange his schedule, and learn to say, "no" to some things. He may have to overcome being tired, needing sleep, or facing a deadline, in order to be with them. Truly, there are so many other places he could be, and so many other things he could do, but none is more important, at the moment, than being with his family. Jethro saw that Moses was overwhelmed because of judging the matters of the people from morning to evening, and said,
The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone (Exo. –18).
Moses was doing good, but it was not good for him to try to do it all
by himself and neglect his family. Moses was not superman, and neither is any
preacher. He can expect too much of himself, and brethren can expect even more!
He must take the time to "do the work of an evangelist," but he cannot
do all the work of all the church by himself (1 Cor. ).
Sometimes therefore, lest he steal time from his family, he must refuse to be diverted, and he must deny some requests and invitations. He has a prior commitment, an important appointment with his family, and he dare not miss it. If he is too busy to be the husband and father he should be, he is too busy. Yes, a preacher's family needs his time, but that is not all.
His Family Needs His Provision
A preacher must provide for his family (1 Tim. 5:8), which includes the necessities of life, but it also involves much more. He must provide spiritual leadership for his family (cf. Gen. 18:19; Acts 21:8–10). Compassion for souls should begin with one's family, for of all the people on earth, the preacher should love his family and want them to be saved.
After all of Noah's preaching, he was able to save his family only (Heb. 11:7; Gen. 7:13). Did he fail? No, he was a great preacher, enshrined in the "Hall of Fame of the Faithful" (Heb. 11)! However, sometimes compassion for the lost and interest in the welfare of others is so all-consuming that the preacher loses sight of his responsibilities to provide spiritual direction to those dearest to him.
He must provide the right direction as head of the house (Eph. 5:23ff). This direction includes his example as well as his authority (1 Sam. –14). What example does he give of one's relationship to the Lord and His church? Although pressed with duties, burdened with cares, frustrated, and fatigued with effort, he still must not allow himself to complain and disparage his brethren or his work to his family.
Rather, he casts his burdens upon the Lord (1 Pet. 5:7), and from time to time weeps alone, out of consideration for his wife and children. Often things are not as bad as they first appear. Why worry his loved ones needlessly? Why adversely affect their attitudes by telling them all he knows about the brethren (some of which is confidential)?
A preacher should also strive to provide his family with stability. The wise preacher will think of his family and choose carefully where he goes to preach. He will also act wisely so he can stay there for awhile. Sometimes preachers jump into situations without considering sufficiently if the pay is adequate, if the work is suited to his ability and personality, and if the brethren want to hear the Truth preached. Soon he is looking again. Once more, his family is packed up, on the road, upset, discouraged, afraid, and dreading the next time this will happen.
His Family Needs Him
There is no substitute for him. He may not be handsome, brilliant, or rich, but he is Daddy, the one with whom they want to laugh, cry, play, and talk. In his arms, they feel secure. He is the one they love, and they need him to love them. His children need him to love their mother, and his wife needs him to love their children. They need the assurance and protection only he can give. A little girl, terminally ill and facing death, talked with her father. She told him she was not afraid to die, for she knew Heaven would be a wonderful place if God were like her Daddy.
His family needs him to praise them. They deserve it. He could not preach without them! While he often gets public acclaim and approval, he must be sure to give credit to his wife and children, for it is a team effort. He should praise them privately and publicly, letting the congregation know how much he loves his family. Of all people, he should know how important praise is.
If the preacher is what he should be, he will give himself to his family, and not neglect them. There is no excuse for him to fail his family. His success in serving others can never compensate for such failure. He must present to them the picture of what a Christian man really is, and, if he does, they will know he is a man of God—a good man, a good husband and father, and a good preacher. He will be their hero, and he and they will be blessed now and eternally.
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