I’ve written previously about the dangers and pitfalls of preaching from a full manuscript. I recognise, too, the problems associated with preaching from no written notes at all.
I won’t go into either of these polarities again just at the moment. But it leaves the question, how long should a preaching manuscript be? I have found myself, in recent times, using either of two approaches:-
(a) preparing a Powerpoint presentation is precise and detailed enough to give me the prompts that I need, without recourse to any further notes.
(b) preaching from a manuscript of around 500 words (i.e. a single sheet of paper).
I was interested to find that this second approach is recommended by Kent Anderson.
Kent’s thoughts are worth perusing. There is, however, one important difference between his practice and my own: he doesn’t take his manuscript with him to the platform, whereas I do. I may not look at it very much, but I like to have it there, both to remind of the structure and to suggest ways in which certain key phrases (including quotes) should be worded.
However, I do agree with Kent’s conclusion:-