What should our presence be in the pulpit?

A few weeks ago, on a Sunday morning, I was home sick in bed. I did something I rarely have opportunity to do, I turned on the TV to listen to some of my fellow local preachers. Among other things I was struck by how they spoke when in the puplit as compared to regular conversations. I know how many of these men talk over lunch because I’ve been with them on various occasions. What does it say about the preacher when he morphs into something he’s not in the everyday? This is a question that has numerous implications not the least of which is the preacher’s view of the preaching event itself.

On this note, Tim Bayly carries on a good discussion of the preacher’s presence in the pulpit. Be sure to follow the discussion here.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Caleb on December 25, 2006 at 6:26 pm

    This is a more complex subject than many would imagine. Lloyd-Jones was said to have been a lion in the pulpet and lamb outside it. In many ways, i think this is spot on.

    When i talk about something i am passsionate about it shows. I pray that is true if i am in the pulpit or out of it (when it pertains to things of the Lord).

  2. “When a man steps into the pulpit and adopts a different tone of voice, vocabulary, and syntax than he uses with his flock and family the rest of the week, he’s either a pompous ass all the time, or he has displaced God’s glory with his own, and his flock will leave the sanctuary hungry still.”

    This was a comment by Tim I believe over on this blog. To say if a preachers voice changes when he preaches is pompous, and he has displaced God’s glory with his own, is in my opinion quite wrong. Afte forty years of preaches 1000’s of times I would hope that has not been the case.


  3. Posted by Caleb on January 1, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    There is an authoritative tone, which in my mind, is sometimes uniquely present when the man of God is truly preaching God’s message. My tone of voice is often different when I am talking to a person in counseling (one on one) rather than to 250 people during a sermon.

    My quote on Lloyd-Jones probably reflects this (Lloyd-Jones was said to have been a lion in the pulpit and a lamb outside it).

    Good food for thought-

  4. I have always been told by men who have pastored for years, “Just be yourself, don’t try to emulate anyone.” I definitely think I’m more intense when I preach, but I think (hope) it has more to do with passion than it does pride, more with my own personality than with persons I look up to.


  5. Jason-

    Good thoughts. I would add that we should emulate the manner in which people handle the Word of God (those who do so with great exegetical precision); but that we should still be ourselves when preaching.

    Good thoughts

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