There was a time when I never would rehearse my sermon before I preached it on Sunday. I just did not see a point, it was awkward, and I felt like I did not have time.
But, over time I have learned that to reach full effectiveness on Sunday, I need to rehearse or practice what I am going to say during the week. Now, if you are like me not that long ago you may want to try practicing your sermon but do not know the best or most effective way to go about that.
Here are some great principles I have learned that help me to effectively rehearse my sermon before I preach it:
Run Through Your Outline in Your Head
This is a very good way to start rehearsing early on in your prep process. If you have the outline memorized you are in good shape for when you preach. You can use this rehearsal time in your head to set mileposts which will help you when you are delivering the message.
Listen to Yourself
Listening to yourself is important to do after you preach but it is also something that is extremely effective to do before you preach as well. I actually record myself during the week before I preach but you do not have to do that. You can just plug headphones into your computer and use a program such as Audacity to listen to yourself in real time. Listening to yourself before you preach is very important as it helps you get some “voice things” down before you actually deliver the message- things such as pitch, tone, and volume. You can see what sounds good and what does not sound good.
Use Your Auditorium if you can
A good thing to do is actually rehearse in the place you are going to preach. This helps you so much if it is a new place but it is also helpful for the place you speak every week. It helps you get in the proper mindset and you can visualize the actual sermon time while you rehearse.
Rehearse Multiple Times
Don’t just rehearse once-although once is better than none! The advantage to rehearsing multiple times is that the more you practice the better you will perform (or deliver). The more times we rehearse the more times we can hear things that need changed and also the more likely you are going to be very comfortable with the material which will help your delivery a ton.
Make Necessary Changes
Don’t just run through your sermon to run through it. Your rehearsal time is a good time to assess some statements you are making or even problems in how you have structured the message.