Ministry Etiquette

Giving Words of Expression
December 1, 2011 By

Lady at PodiumsGiving Words of Expression
By Nichelle Early, Executive Editor
Often, as a minister, you will be invited to give words of expression before the conclusion of a service.  This can be challengeing for many preachers as they struggle to resist the temptation to repreach what they have already heard, plug themselves by showing their ability to preach, or simply trying to revive the audience after a long message. What ever the case, it is important as a preacher that you get up and do what you are asked to do, and only that, which is give brief words of expression as requested.
Therefore, below are a few tips to aid you in giving words of expression in an appropriate manner.
  • Greet the Audience -  When you initially get up, it's okay to greet the audience by way of giving a brief scripture, i.e. "I will bless the Lord at all times, and His praises shall continually be in my mouth..." However, should you choose to do this, always give only one verse, give the verse address (where it's found in the Bible), and ensure that it is a verse the pertains to the tempo or theme of the service. Do not preach or scream the verse, simply state the verse with poise and a smile. This is not a time to get up and try to get the audience hype and prove that you can preach and that you are anointed. Upon greeting the audience, feel free to re-state your name and your ministry name. There is no need to take up time honoring your Bishop and Pastor, etc. if he or she is not there!
  • Give Honor - After your brief greeting, you should give honor to God (Christ) as well as to the Highest ranking official or the host of the service or event. If there are people on the pulpit or other ministers in the audience and you do not know everybody's name, don't attempt to call names. Simply give honor to the highest ranking official and the "established protocol of ministers and guests."
  • Offer Thanksgiving - Express your gratitude for having an opportunity to have words and for being a part of the service.
  • Give Your Words of Expression -  If you don't have anything prepared, maybe find one particular point in the service that impacted you and give a brief remark about that. For example: "I was tremendously blessed by the Word of God! I am truly going to apply the principles of Thanksgiving that the Pastor ministered to my life!"  Or, give 1-2 positive alcolaides about the service and how you enjoyed it. Limit your words of expression to no more than two minutes.
  • Do Not Preach or Re-Preach the Sermon. The worst thing you can do when someone gives you space to give words of expression is try to get up and preach, or re-preach the sermon that has already been preached. It's very rude and shows that you have no discipline. The Word has already been brought forth by the vessel that God allowed to preach. In addition, do not use the moment as an opportunity to plug yourself by showing that you can preach or trying to hype the audience.  When you are given the opportunity to give words of expression, when they call you up, more than likely they will call you by your title, which will signal to the audience that you are a preacher. There's no need to use the moment to prove it! Also, many services may have time constraints and the host may be being gracious by even extending the invitation for you to give words...which by the way, you can graciously decline, especially if the service has already gone beyond the time allotted.
  • Do Not Sing A Solo or Give Your Testimony -  Always resist the urge to sing a solo or give your testimony. You were asked to give Words of Expression. Do just that. Always do only what you have been asked to do!

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