Listening to Myself

I admit it. I do not like listening to the sound of my voice. I also do not like looking at myself. My work on television requires I do both.

For several years now I have had to take a critical look and listen at myself with the intent of improving my feeble efforts. I don’t like it, but I need to do it.

Recently I heard a preacher give a very fine lesson in content, but his tone of voice gave a mixed message. His message of consolation to the troubled sounded more like a scolding. I know he did not intend that; he is a good friend and brother in the Lord.

I want to suggest to all my preaching brothers to listen to your sermons, not so much for content as for the emotional message in the tone of voice. Does it match the content?

I would ask farther that each preaching brother listen to the cadence, pitch, and melody of the voice. Is it constant or is there variety?

Of course, the content of the message must be foremost–I fully hold that!

But to maturing preachers who have settled faith, I ask if they have thought of the skill of preaching lately?

Raymond Kelcy asked me in 1984 if I could be the kind of preacher he would want to listen to for the next ten years. Brother Kelcy revealed to me that he read a new book or re-read an old one on preaching every year. I began that practice 25 years ago. I think it has helped.

Early in ministry we must build primarily our Biblical base and understanding, but as we mature we should work at building skills. The more skills we acquire, the more doors will open to us.

Would you want to listen to you for the next ten years? Even if you present Biblically-based and rich sermons in content, would you want to remain at your present skill level?

Preachers who grow continue to preach. Preachers who fail to grow find disappointment.

With great appreciation and respect for all preachers of the one true gospel,
Phil Sanders

#gospel, #preaching, #public-speaking, #skill, #tone-of-voice