Every once in awhile, I am asked about what I take to the pulpit with me. The answer is – as little as possible. I carry a Thinline Bible with no room in the margins for jotting distracting notes. I do bring a rough summary of the ideas from the Scripture and one or two reminders to include something in the message.
That’s generally it.
I used to prepare powerpoint presentations, but they became a nuisance. I don’t think in linear outlines, and (just ask our congregation) I often don’t talk in straight lines. I believe all the Bible study and intricacies belong in the background. Every Sunday, my desire is to communicate the truth of God’s Word and perhaps help a few people on their journey with Jesus.
My notes are not really important to how the message gets presented because they were written in the quiet of my study, and not in the moment. As I interact with the congregation prior to the service, I listen for the Holy Spirit’s whispers. More often than not, he begins to tailor the message for that day through the voices of the people.
I’ve attached a PDF of my notes from last month. You can listen to the message and see how closely they correlate (not very, I’d wager).