It took me ten years in the pulpit before I tried preaching without a manuscript.
I wish I'd known then what I know now because I wouldn't have been nearly so anxious.
Why was I anxious? Bad assumptions:
- I thought I still had to have the sermon fully written ahead of time.
- I thought I had to have the entire manuscript memorized. Since memorization has always been hard for me, I was terrified of forgetting carefully crafted words and phrases.
- I didn't realize that as long as I had a map and knew where I was headed, I was ready to bring others along for the ride.
It turns out my assumptions were wrong. Preaching without notes was much simpler than I had realized.