Getting ready to guest preach

04.07.15 | Leader Development | by Mandy Sayers

    By Rev. Mandy Sayers

    Are you a lay servant that has received a call? No, not THE call to go into full-time ministry, but a call to preach on Sunday at another church while that church's pastor is on vacation, sick or on sabbatical? If this is your first time preaching and you are unsure of what questions to ask or if you need a reminder of what you need to know, then download the Checklist for Preaching Assignment. This check, included below, will help you to prepare to the best of your ability.

    1. Where and when are the services? Arrive EARLY. Ideally you will want to get to know the space and ask whatever questions have not been asked already. Also you will want to do a sound check, or at least have the chance for that, so that the microphone levels can be adjusted.
    2. Who is my contact/helper once I get there?
    3. Is there a bulletin? Do you need anything from me for the bulletin? By when?
    4. Do I pick my scriptures? How many scriptures do you usually read?
    5. Do you need a title from me? By when?
    6. Look at the bulletin in advance and highlight the parts you have to do.
    7. What do you need me to do besides preach?
      a. Announcements?
      b. Children’s Time?
      c. Pastoral/Morning Prayer?
      d. Offering intro?
      e. Altar call?
      f. Benediction
      g. Read scripture? Am I reading the scripture I’m preaching on or will a reader/lector do that?
      h. Pray with choir, music ministry?
    8. Choreography
      a. Does the preacher process with the choir? Recess with the choir?
      b. Where does the pastor usually stand when they preach?
      c. Where do I sit when I’m not preaching?
      d. What kind of sound amplification do they have?
      e. How do you collect the offering? Do you want me to get the plates to/from the ushers and put them on the altar? Do you pray before or after you collect the offering? Do you want me to do that?
    9. How long does the pastor usually preach? Or, “What time do I need to be done preaching by?” Nothing worse than having a congregation expect a 25 minute sermon and getting a 10 minute sermon or vice versa.
    10. Sound issues
      1. What kind of sound amplification do you have?
      2. What kind of clothing do I need to wear for that microphone system to work? Collar? Pocket?
      3. Who do I see to get my microphone?
    11. Are there other issues you need to know about in the life of the congregation?