Why It’s Essential to Be Yourself
Recently, Casey Graham of Preaching Rocket, sent out 10 emails with The 10 Commandments for Preaching. I thought this one was fantastic, so I asked permission to reprint it. Even though he is targeting preachers, you can replace with your name or “speaker”. 🙂 Enjoy!
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s style.
The year we started Preaching Rocket, we decided to embark on a 9-city tour. It kicked off at North Point Community Church, which is my home church.
The one-day conference had four sessions, and I was the fourth and final speaker.
Though I’ve spoken in front of people for 20 years, I was extremely nervous. Not only was I following Jeff Henderson, Andy Stanley and Louie Giglio on the schedule, I had a lot of emotion and worry about standing on that stage.
I ended up rushing through the content. It may not have been bad, but it wasn’t my best. I felt like my talk was flat, and it didn’t connect with the audience.
And that’s what a couple of people said in the post-event evaluation. One commenter said, “He may be a nice guy, but clearly, he’s not a public speaker.”
I’m not going to lie…feedback like that hurt. My first response was to email back and say, “Hey, I was a youth pastor and I was a pastor and I spoke to 2,000 people” And on and on and on.
But if I want to get better, I’ve got to hear that feedback. I’ve got to process that feedback. And I’ve got to keep working. And hearing other people’s feedback led me to my own personal evaluation.
Pushing my content through the plasma screen like Andy Stanley masterfully does just isn’t me. I didn’t communicate with my own unique voice. I let the size of the stage get to me. In the end, I wasn’t comfortable on that stage, and I was not secure in my own style.
The issue wasn’t my content, but how I delivered it. I tried to speak like someone else.
Which is a lot light fighting Goliath wearing someone else’s armor.
David couldn’t fight in Saul’s armor, so maybe Michael shouldn’t preach with Andy’s plasma screen TV.
Now, take a look at this map…
When I took that screenshot a couple of months ago, it represented all of the pastors who were a part of the Preaching Rocket program.
And you know what?
No two pastors are alike. Their stories are different. Their congregations are different. Their styles are different.
Some of these pastors serve in mega-churches – giant churches you’ve heard of. Some of them are in the middle of nowhere – rural America. Some of them are in urban areas, and some of them don’t speak English.
There’s great diversity in the Kingdom of God.
God didn’t call you to be a Xerox copy of someone else.
Your background is unique. Your successes and failures are unique. Your perspective is unique. And your style is unique.
So I wanted to encourage today with this…just be yourself. And don’t covet your neighbor’s preaching style.
Thank you to Casey Graham and Preaching Rocket!! I hope you’re encouraged. Check out this deal from them. For more info, just click on the link.
You can’t know what I just confessed to God in my prayer time. You can’t know the battle I fight as I seek to breakthrough the “popular speaker” stigma, introducing myself to Women’s Ministry Directors. You can’t know this when you posted this, but God did so I thank Him for using you.