How to be a Minister

Helping Christian ministers through training, support services, commissioning, licensing and ordination.

Preparing to Preach, Teach or Counsel

Preparing to Preach, Teach or Counsel

One of the greatest challenges for those seeking to be a minister is Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 4:2 which states, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”

As much as we try to schedule daily activities the reality is that ministers never know when we will be called on to deliver a message, provide counseling or respond to an emergency situation.  We are to be ready in season and out of season.  What does that mean in practical terms?  Should ministers carry around a briefcase full of canned sermons, teaching outlines or counseling forms?

That may be one solution, but it may actually be counterproductive.  There is no way that a minister can have notes ready for the vast array of situations that come up.  Trying to do so would be overwhelming and most likely cause them to over focus on their own abilities.

The number one thing a minister must do to be ready in season and out is to be receptive to what the Holy Spirit wants to say or do in any given situation. 

This month’s webcast will focus on the following three aspects of a ministers life that help us be in tune with what the Holy Spirit wants to say or do as they preach, teach and provide counseling:

  • Relationship
  • Study
  • Prayer

We will also look at a few common pitfalls that should be avoided. 

Come join us at www.NCCChurch.ChurchOnline.org 

Pastor Dave

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Comments 9

Pastor Dave Smuin on Friday, 14 March 2014 18:37

Preparation can be just as Spirit-led as is teaching, preaching, or counseling. Sometimes teachers tell me they are not going to prepare because they want to be "open to the Spirit." This is just an excuse for laziness. Cannot God lead in our preparation as well as in any other aspect of the ministry? It may be true that on occasion we may have tried to follow the Spirit as we prepared, and after it all, God may say to us at the last moment, "Lay your preps aside. I have a different message for you to deliver." I have experienced that on occasion. But I think it is far more common for God to guide through faithful preparation.

Preparation can be just as Spirit-led as is teaching, preaching, or counseling. Sometimes teachers tell me they are not going to prepare because they want to be "open to the Spirit." This is just an excuse for laziness. Cannot God lead in our preparation as well as in any other aspect of the ministry? It may be true that on occasion we may have tried to follow the Spirit as we prepared, and after it all, God may say to us at the last moment, "Lay your preps aside. I have a different message for you to deliver." I have experienced that on occasion. But I think it is far more common for God to guide through faithful preparation.
Pastor Dave Smuin on Saturday, 30 November 2013 20:21

Having an intimate relationship with the Lord should be the foundation of all we do as Christians, but especially in sharing the Word, teaching the Word, and preaching the Word. The more we know about the Lord through study of His Word, the more we strengthen our trust in Him through prayer, and the more we come before Him in humble worship, the more intimate our relationship becomes. As ministers of the Word, we not only put on the armor of God to do battle, we put on the armor of God to be ready in and out of season, at any time and place, to teach and preach the Word and how it can be applied in our daily lives. The Holy Spirit will guide us and strengthen us every time in this endeavor. I've found it very important to turn to the Holy Spirit in preparing my teaching ministry to elderly in senior care homes to help me discern how to take scripture and convey it through means appropriate to this audience. I even place a chair beside me during my ministries and tell seniors "this is where the Holy Spirit sits" and remind them that it is with His help I will speak and through Him we will listen and learn together. The Holy Spirit never fails me. He always helps me impact those in attendance. He truly lets "the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable" in his sight. An aside: I sat on the Holy Spirit's chair once and was scolded by a resident because I "sat on the Holy Spirit." Whoops! My bad.

Having an intimate relationship with the Lord should be the foundation of all we do as Christians, but especially in sharing the Word, teaching the Word, and preaching the Word. The more we know about the Lord through study of His Word, the more we strengthen our trust in Him through prayer, and the more we come before Him in humble worship, the more intimate our relationship becomes. As ministers of the Word, we not only put on the armor of God to do battle, we put on the armor of God to be ready in and out of season, at any time and place, to teach and preach the Word and how it can be applied in our daily lives. The Holy Spirit will guide us and strengthen us every time in this endeavor. I've found it very important to turn to the Holy Spirit in preparing my teaching ministry to elderly in senior care homes to help me discern how to take scripture and convey it through means appropriate to this audience. I even place a chair beside me during my ministries and tell seniors "this is where the Holy Spirit sits" and remind them that it is with His help I will speak and through Him we will listen and learn together. The Holy Spirit never fails me. He always helps me impact those in attendance. He truly lets "the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable" in his sight. An aside: I sat on the Holy Spirit's chair once and was scolded by a resident because I "sat on the Holy Spirit." Whoops! My bad.
Guest - Dr. Angie Buckner on Friday, 22 November 2013 03:04

As I listened to the teaching tonight. The passage of scripture that came to my mind was 1 Corn 2:4-5; And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Thank you for reminding us to guard our teaching and make sure everything is found in the bible. I just recently heard a preacher say we should teach bible not babble! I agree. God Bless you Pastor Dave and Thank you.

As I listened to the teaching tonight. The passage of scripture that came to my mind was 1 Corn 2:4-5; And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Thank you for reminding us to guard our teaching and make sure everything is found in the bible. I just recently heard a preacher say we should teach bible not babble! I agree. God Bless you Pastor Dave and Thank you.
Guest - Mike Bielas on Friday, 22 November 2013 01:35

Dr. David

This is a good topic to bring up for those called to preach and teach. By gifting teaching is one of my top gifts. Preaching is not. As a matter of fact, before being called to the ministry full time this year I have never preached. I have taught Bible classes in church and on my own. However, as a chaplain I have had more opportunity to preach. I have found this to be true for me. When I prepare sermon with a lot of preparation sometimes weeks I tend to teach with little preaching. But when I am totally unprepared like last night I was armed with the Scripture Ephesians 6:10-20 and all I did was preach with very little teaching. The Holy Spirit prepared me that day with the worship songs and prayer and the verses to go over in chapel. So for me, the more preparation with original language word studies or commentaries leads to teaching but when the Holy Spirit moves it become powerful preaching. It is really awesome to see God move and work that way in the ministry He called me to.

Dr. David This is a good topic to bring up for those called to preach and teach. By gifting teaching is one of my top gifts. Preaching is not. As a matter of fact, before being called to the ministry full time this year I have never preached. I have taught Bible classes in church and on my own. However, as a chaplain I have had more opportunity to preach. I have found this to be true for me. When I prepare sermon with a lot of preparation sometimes weeks I tend to teach with little preaching. But when I am totally unprepared like last night I was armed with the Scripture Ephesians 6:10-20 and all I did was preach with very little teaching. The Holy Spirit prepared me that day with the worship songs and prayer and the verses to go over in chapel. So for me, the more preparation with original language word studies or commentaries leads to teaching but when the Holy Spirit moves it become powerful preaching. It is really awesome to see God move and work that way in the ministry He called me to.
Pastor Dave Smuin on Thursday, 21 November 2013 19:43

As I read the beginning of Preparing to Preach, Teach or Counsel, Stephen came to my mind. In Acts 6 I begin to see why Stephen was chosen and why he was prepared for anything. He was chosen because he was known as, “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 6:5) When Stephen began to suffer opposition it wasn’t his dialog that hindered the opposition. “They could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.” I imagine Stephen was like any one of us before he accepted Jesus as his Savior and was filled with the Holy Spirit. I believe he is a picture of 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” I believe it is our relationship with God, our time in the word and our willingness to be a vessel for the Holy Spirit to work through that makes us ready in season and out.

As I read the beginning of Preparing to Preach, Teach or Counsel, Stephen came to my mind. In Acts 6 I begin to see why Stephen was chosen and why he was prepared for anything. He was chosen because he was known as, “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 6:5) When Stephen began to suffer opposition it wasn’t his dialog that hindered the opposition. “They could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.” I imagine Stephen was like any one of us before he accepted Jesus as his Savior and was filled with the Holy Spirit. I believe he is a picture of 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” I believe it is our relationship with God, our time in the word and our willingness to be a vessel for the Holy Spirit to work through that makes us ready in season and out.
Guest - Jack Zibell on Thursday, 21 November 2013 16:42

Thank you Wayne for your comments, I found them to be useful reminders and instructive. The 2 Timothy 2:15 verse has always been a very important reference verse to me personally. It speaks on several levels to me. First is our responsibility. That is this verse is a direct injunction of something we need to do. By the fact that it doesn’t elaborate on a time referenced basis, such as do this weekly or monthly or even daily, I consider that it is the action we should be taking at “all times” when using the Word of God. Second, by mentioning rightly dividing as one of the operatives, there must be a possibility of “wrongly dividing” too. We are instructed not to go there, which implies significant responsibility. It is also a very confusing verse when we see how it is actually applied by teachers of God’s Word, such as the current debate re-ignited by the recent John McArthur “Strange Fire” conference. http://www.tmstrangefire.org/ In this conference he would use the Word to prove the cessation of many of the Spiritual gifts, while on the opposite side are teachers using the same Word to prove they are still in effect. http://www.christianpost.com/news/john-macarthur-responds-to-critics-who-believe-his-strange-fire-conference-is-divisive-unloving-107051/ Both sides would likely say that they are the ones “rightly dividing” the Word. This has always been one of the puzzling things in the Church to me, so I look forward to tonight’s webcast and learning more about how to appropriately take care in preparing and using God’s Word with accurate presentation of Biblical truths.

Thank you Wayne for your comments, I found them to be useful reminders and instructive. The 2 Timothy 2:15 verse has always been a very important reference verse to me personally. It speaks on several levels to me. First is our responsibility. That is this verse is a direct injunction of something we need to do. By the fact that it doesn’t elaborate on a time referenced basis, such as do this weekly or monthly or even daily, I consider that it is the action we should be taking at “all times” when using the Word of God. Second, by mentioning rightly dividing as one of the operatives, there must be a possibility of “wrongly dividing” too. We are instructed not to go there, which implies significant responsibility. It is also a very confusing verse when we see how it is actually applied by teachers of God’s Word, such as the current debate re-ignited by the recent John McArthur “Strange Fire” conference. http://www.tmstrangefire.org/ In this conference he would use the Word to prove the cessation of many of the Spiritual gifts, while on the opposite side are teachers using the same Word to prove they are still in effect. http://www.christianpost.com/news/john-macarthur-responds-to-critics-who-believe-his-strange-fire-conference-is-divisive-unloving-107051/ Both sides would likely say that they are the ones “rightly dividing” the Word. This has always been one of the puzzling things in the Church to me, so I look forward to tonight’s webcast and learning more about how to appropriately take care in preparing and using God’s Word with accurate presentation of Biblical truths.
Pastor Dave Smuin on Thursday, 21 November 2013 19:53

Hi Jack,

Great discussion. As I prepared for the teaching tonight I felt led to go in a little different direction and honestly not as deep as the issue that you are bringing up. However, when I made the decision for tonight's direction I was contemplating topics like the one you are highlighting. I will pray about addressing this in a future webcast.

Hi Jack, Great discussion. As I prepared for the teaching tonight I felt led to go in a little different direction and honestly not as deep as the issue that you are bringing up. However, when I made the decision for tonight's direction I was contemplating topics like the one you are highlighting. I will pray about addressing this in a future webcast.
Pastor Dave Smuin on Tuesday, 19 November 2013 03:27

A great topic, and I am looking forward to the training. I am experiencing that Holy Spirit preaching and you never know when it will take over your own words. It is amazing.

Worth Forbes

A great topic, and I am looking forward to the training. I am experiencing that Holy Spirit preaching and you never know when it will take over your own words. It is amazing. Worth Forbes
Pastor Dave Smuin on Monday, 18 November 2013 16:58

I am looking forward to this webcast. I reflect on Paul's words to young Timothy found in 2 Timothy 2:15, on a daily basis. "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. " Before we can prepare a sermon we first need to prepare ourselves through prayer, petition, and the daily studying of God's Word. Realistically our Bibles should be the only sermon or counseling notes that we need as God promises us in Isaiah 55:11 that His Word will not come back to Him void, not our words. To be highly effective pastors, counselors, teachers and leaders, we must maximize our time voicing God's Word and minimize the time that we spend speaking our own. With this said we must obviously keep in mind 1 Corinthians 1:18 when dealing with lost souls, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." God bless!!
Sincerely In Christ, Wayne

I am looking forward to this webcast. I reflect on Paul's words to young Timothy found in 2 Timothy 2:15, on a daily basis. "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. " Before we can prepare a sermon we first need to prepare ourselves through prayer, petition, and the daily studying of God's Word. Realistically our Bibles should be the only sermon or counseling notes that we need as God promises us in Isaiah 55:11 that His Word will not come back to Him void, not our words. To be highly effective pastors, counselors, teachers and leaders, we must maximize our time voicing God's Word and minimize the time that we spend speaking our own. With this said we must obviously keep in mind 1 Corinthians 1:18 when dealing with lost souls, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." God bless!! Sincerely In Christ, Wayne
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