3 Lessons From A Well-Loved 80-Year-Old Preacher

As a preacher, I am a bit unusual because I like to go to church on vacation!!! Last month, I took a week off – a staycation – and on Sunday morning decided to go to one of our Sister churches just down the road from me. When I walked in the door the first person I saw was a friend from 27 years ago who was a blessing and encouragement to my wife and me during our days in Bible College. When I learned that they had a Special Speaker that morning, an 80-year-old well-loved and well-known pastor in our fellowship. While I have known this pastor for many years I had never heard him speak and was looking forward to his message. What I received was a great teaching from Psalm 121 and also a lesson in the art of preaching.

3 Lessons From A Well-Loved 80 Year Old Preacher

Be Yourself

This pastor is 80 years old and he acted his age, he wore dress pants, a shirt, and a tie. His age and attire were of no consequence because he was comfortable with who he is and it came through in his speaking. I think we lose credibility when we try to fill a role instead of being who we are. When you are filling a role you are acting not communicating.

“If you are worried more about your style than you are the message then you are an entertainer not a preacher.” (H.B. Charles Jr.)

Being someone else it too hard; just be yourself.

Finding Your Preaching Voice

Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

As we get older if we are not careful our world starts to shrink and if you are a speaker this is very dangerous indeed. We circle the wagons and only talk in past tense statements. “Well in my day…” Pastor M was not like this at all. He applied the text to current events and gave people confidence that he actually knew what was going on in the world. 🙂

“One day I was interpreting for an English Preacher, and was shocked when he said he doesn’t read newspapers, watch news or listen to the radio or read any books other than the Bible. He categorized them as nonspiritual.” (Yohan Perera)

5 Ways To Make Your Preaching More Practical and Relevant

Be Biblical

I had always heard of this Pastor’s reputation for being a Biblical Preacher and I was not disappointed. Very simply he led us through Psalm 121 and showed us how it applied to our lives.

“Faithful preaching in all areas of Scripture produces faithful followers in all areas of life.” (Melissa Kruger)

While I don’t adhere to all that is in this article I do agree with the premise.

Differences Between Motivational Speaking and Biblical Preaching

3 Questions

  1. On Sunday morning who shows up in the pulpit you or somebody else?
  2. When you speak, how do people know you actually understand what’s happening in the world they live in?
  3. Is your message motivational or biblical? The truth is it can be both.

It would be a dream come true for me at 80 to still be asked to speak. If I apply what I learned on that summer Sunday morning at least I will have a shot. 🙂

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Written by Peter Walters

Peter is Connections & Pastor Care Pastor at Brooklin Village Church, just outside Toronto, Canada. He has been married to his wonderful wife Sarah for 25 years and they have two children.