Let Me Make Myself Clear

December 4, 2021

  1. Think Yourself empty.
  2. Read yourself full.
  3. Write yourself clear.
  4. Pray yourself hot.
  5. Be yourself.
  6. Forget yourself.

Alistair Begg’s Sermon Preparation Process

I came across a video clip on the internet of one of my favorite preacher’s process for preparing his sermons. (You can watch the video here.) These steps are golden, and each deserves a separate post, but I want to zero in the third step: Write yourself clear. The reason I want to discuss this point is that it’s the easiest for me to skip.

But I’m a writer (or claim to be). Why would I skip this part?

The short answer is that it’s difficult. Much like the average eighth-grader, I find it hard to put my thoughts on paper. Speaking comes naturally to me, so I could jot down a few points and “wing it.” God’s given me the gift of gab. However, in his recent book, At Your Best, Carey Nieuwhof writes, “You cheat your gift when you use it but never take time to develop it.”1 As a naturally gifted communicator, Nieuwhof also could “shoot from the hip,” but he acknowledges it short-changes the maturing of his gift and his audience.

I want to grow as a communicator of the gospel, so I am disciplining myself to manuscript my sermons. My goal, Lord willing, is to post a full manuscript of my weekly sermons here on my blog. These posts can serve as preaching fodder for other ministers or be a resource for my parishioners. Either way, I want to “write myself clear” to develop my gift.

1Carey Nieuwhof, At Your Best:How to Get Time, Energy & Priorities Working in Your Favor, (WaterBrook: Colorado Springs, CO, 2021), 91.

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