Jibstay

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Preaching Guidelines

I was asked to bring a devotional message to an area Christian elementary school. I love being able to get into the wider community and preach. So the principal sent me the "speakers' guidelines". At first reading, I was a little put off by the negative and maybe even "condescending" attitude. But then I reflected on who this audience is and the administration's care about worship. And upon further reflection I wished I had received these kind of guidelines in seminary or my early years of preaching. Take a look and translate them into your arena:

Guidelines for Outside Speakers

1. Please remember that the children range in age from 5 to 14. Therefore, please do not discuss topics that are outside of their comprehension.

2. As per our bylaws, we do not expose children to moral issues such as sex education, drug awareness, AIDS prevention, etc.

3. Please do not tell stories about people who died violently or suddenly.

4. Please keep the talk focused on Scripture rather than on stories. We use the New International Version of the Bible.

5. Please do not relate stories of poor choices made by you (e.g., as a teenager or before becoming a Christian). These stories might be interpreted by the students as “fun” and have the opposite effect desired.

6. Students will focus better if you bring an object and do an object lesson. They also tend to stay more focused if you move around while speaking.

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