Finding Your Voice
When I preach, I want it to be God’s words from me. This is something that I have struggled with over the past 8 months as I have transitioned from a full time design engineer to a full-time pastor. I don’t want to imitate other preachers, I really want to find my voice. It’s good to listen to other pastors and learn why they are effective communicators, but if I just try to sound like them, I won’t be effective.
Why? Because the people at Cornerstone know me, they know my quirks and they know my strengths and weaknesses. They know how I talk during the week, they know my weird sense of humor. They know my passion. If I am simply reading someone else’s sermon, they would immediately know it. But if I tried to imitate someone else, they may not notice. At least at first, but after a while they would sense that something was wrong. That is why it is so important for me to BE me. This past week at church was one of those weeks where I listened to quite a few sermons and read and researched about the principle of giving. But the end sermon came from the way my mind thinks. I didn’t like the logic behind some of the sermons I listened to. I learned from them, but I had to start with the way my mind works. I had to start with what God’s Word teaches. I want my sermons to logically progress. I don’t want to go off on tangents that lead nowhere.
One more thought. The same principle is true for worship bands. It’s great to listen to CD’s to get ideas, but in the end, you must find your own voice. If you want people to follow you in worship, they need to know the real you. That’s true for pastors, teachers, worship leaders, and anyone else that stands in front of the congregation. Our people are longing for authenticity, but are we willing to really find our voice.