| Home |
Executable Outlines

Thoughts On The Preacher And His Work

Miscellaneous thoughts and suggestions (some may not be applicable to every person and situation).

  • Obeyed the gospel of Christ at age 13 in 1964
  • Preached my first sermon at age 16 in 1967
  • Did fill-in preaching in Oregon and Florida 1968-1974
  • Went to Florida College, majoring in Bible and education 1969-1971
  • Worked six months with Almon Williams at Tampa, FL 1974
  • Spent a year in preacher training with Al Craig in Salem, OR 1974-1975
  • Fill-in preaching while working secular jobs in Central Florida 1975-1979
  • Preached at Palm Springs Drive in Altamonte Springs, FL 1979-1984
  • Preached at Beverly Shores in Leesburg, FL 1984-1989
  • Worked with Robert Harkrider at South Bumby in Orlando, FL 1989-1995
  • Preaching at Fortune Road in Kissimmee, FL 1993-Present
  • Read through the Bible every year, devotionally (carefully, prayerfully) ~ Psa 1:1-3
  • Learn to love, sing, and listen to psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs ~ Col 3:16
  • Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ ~ 2Pe 3:18; 1:5-10
  • Develop the fruit of the Spirit ~ Ga 5:22-23
  • Live the transformed life ~ Ro 12:1-21
  • Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks ~ 1Th 5:16-18
  • Focus on spiritual fitness, yet benefit from physical exercise ~ 1Ti 4:8; 1Co 6:19-20
  • Get the best secular education you can (English, History, Literature, Speech, Logic, Debate, Vocabulary, Spelling)
  • Get the best religious education you can (Biblical studies, NT Greek, Evidences, Ancient History, Homiletics, World Religions, Denominational Doctrines)
  • Study carefully 1&2 Timothy, Titus, 2nd Corinthians (the latter provides insight to what motivated Paul)
  • Read books on sermon preparation, teaching classes, and the work of preaching (some recommended below)
  • Utilize every opportunity to teach and preach, locally and at nearby congregations (fill-in preaching)
  • Take advantage of preacher training opportunities (especially full time opportunities with mature preachers)
  • Build a good religious library (I recommend a digital library; e.g., Logos Bible Software)
  • Become an autodidact (self-teacher), devoted to life-long learning ~ 1Ti 4:13,15-16; 2Ti 2:15
  • Take advantage of fill-in preaching opportunities
  • Where possible, work with congregations you already know (and that know you!)
  • When possible, work in two-preacher arrangements (utilizing the principle of synergy)
  • Preachers have different strengths, methods of study and work
  • Some are good gospel meeting preachers, others do better with local work
  • Some are strong evangelizing, others better at edification
  • Focus on your strengths, manage your weaknesses
  • Give priority to expository preaching over topical preaching (Preach The Word!)
  • Be careful addressing brotherhood issues and controversial topics (esp. when beginning a new work)
  • Do not use the pulpit to address individual problems (talk to the person privately first)
  • Avoid worldly entanglements (e.g., multi-level marketing, politics)
  • Always be on time for any appointment (ahead of time if possible)
  • Greet every member (and every visitor) at every service
  • Do not offer counseling unless properly trained; refer to more mature members whenever you can
  • Never be alone with a woman other than your wife, sister, mother, daughter
  • Do not neglect familial duties (many preachers lose their families while trying to save others)
  • Leave a congregation on good terms; e.g., six months before they think of asking you to leave ;)
  • Do not split a congregation by the manner in which you leave
  • Let the next preacher build on what you accomplished (not having to rebuild what you destroyed by leaving)
  • Preachers should always be part of the solution, not the problem
  • Love, honor, and respect the brethren, especially elders and the elderly ~ 1Ti 5:1-3,17-20

  • The Treasury Of Scripture Knowledge - R. A. Torrey
    The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge is comprehensive, user-friendly and versatile, providing the reader with an essential study tool for private devotions, teaching or preaching. Complete with over 500,000 Scripture references and parallel passages, this reference work contains the most exhaustive listing of biblical cross references available anywhere. Available in most Bible software programs.

  • How To Prepare Bible Messages - James Braga
    This is a how-to-do-it book that lives up to its promise. James Braga sets forth clearly and logically the step-by step process of preparing and delivering an effective sermon. Instructions are spelled out simply, so even a novice can follow them without a teacher's help. The method he presents combines recognized techniques of secular public speaking with time-tested theories of preaching. After thoroughly covering the principal types of biblical sermons and stressing the value of expository preaching, Mr. Braga carefully breaks down and discusses the mechanics of sermon construction. the revised edition includes an updated bibliography, additional examples, a new comprehensive index, and added steps which make sermon preparation easier than ever before.

  • Speaking For The Master - Batsell Barrett Baxter
    A study of public speaking for Christian men. Especially helpful when first starting out serving various roles in the public worship of the church: making announcements, reading scripture, leading prayers, serving the Lord's Supper, etc. With practical exercises to improve diction in public speaking.

  • Common Sense Preaching - Dee Bowman
    A practical handbook that guides us through the thrilling process of sermon preparation and delivery. It is a book that teaches us how to balance form and substance.

  • Preachers and Preaching - James P. Needham
    A comprehensive study of the church-preacher relationship. "In the fourteen chapters of this book, Needham discusses nearly every possible aspect of the church-preacher relationship--the preacher from a scriptural standpoint, man-made qualifications for preachers, God's qualifications for preachers, man's concept of the preacher's duties, the preacher's duties to the gospel, other preacher duties, duties to the brethren, church problems with preachers, financial support, problems with employment practices, the moving game, keeping the preacher, "preacheritis," and the preacher shortage. Obviously, this book would be of most interest to preachers and those who are thinking of becoming preachers. However, it would be good for others, especially elders and the men of congregations who make decisions regarding preachers, to read to help them understand how God wants them to treat preachers." (Review by Wayne S. Walker)

  • Exegetical Fallacies - D. A. Carson
    Carson's book helps the student of scripture to avoid many of the logical and linguistic pitfalls which result in erroneous interpretation. This book should be required reading for all Bible class teachers, deacons, elders, and preachers. By example from actual books, Carson illustrates many of the pitfalls he discusses.

  • Letters To Young Preachers - Edited by Warren Berkley and Mark Roberts
    For the young man who desires to preach God's Word; this book will be of greater value than literal gold or silver.

  • Behind the Preacher's Door - Edited by Warren Berkley
    A challenging call to personal purity for preachers and all Christians.


"...be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." ~ 1Ti 4:12

"Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition..." ~ 2Ti 2:22-25

"Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." ~ 2Ti 4:2-5

Thanks for reading, and may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you in the service of His kingdom!

In His Service,

Mark A. Copeland

Home Page
Have A Bible Question? | Want A Free Bible Study Course? | Looking For A Church Near You?
Want To Talk With Someone By Phone? | Want To Discuss The Bible By Email?
Search The Outlines

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

eXTReMe Tracker
Icons by DryIcons.com