Delivering a sermon at the pulpit for the first time was I think the most memorable experience I had in my life as a young Christian. It got me very nervous that I feel that my legs were shaking all the time. My voice was indeed vibrating so hard that I felt deep into my heart that I can no longer deliver the message properly. It was very challenging and yet rewarding.
I was inspired to deliver a sermon to the church after my dad challenged the male members of the church and the youth in one of his sermons, to deliver their own sermons whether in the morning service or in the evening worship.
Every time he delivers his sermon, the encouragement that I felt was overwhelming in the sense that I felt that the problems I felt the past week was instantly gone. It’s like a single click of the fingers then the problems were all gone like a wind that passes by.
One night, after a successful evening worship service, I consulted my dad about me delivering a sermon on July 18, 2010, during the evening worship. I asked him “how am I going to create my sermon and how am I going to deliver it?” But he said, “choose your topic, make an outline, write and then I will edit and revise it.”
The next day was a Monday and I don’t have classes in the morning, and since I don’t have classes in the morning, I started to plan my sermon.
Choosing a topic was not that easy after all. Before, I thought that choosing a topic was very easy and when the preacher would deliver his sermon, I often criticize it (only I can hear my criticism) because of his being unprepared. Then I realized that it was definitely not easy to choose a topic and deliver it. I scratched my head. I even had a headache that lasted for 2 days.
Then suddenly, our preacher sent a text message to my dad informing him that a brother died. My dad said that a brother died but he did not say the reason. From that event, a topic finally went into my mind. At that very moment in time, I also heard my dad singing an old time favorite gospel song titled, “THE LORD’S MY SHEPHERD; I’LL NOT WANT,” composed by a Scottish Psalter way back in the 1600’s. The song was based on Psalm 23.
Then I thought that it was a hint from my dad and a topic that I should analyze. I opened my New American Standard Version of the Holy Bible (the Bible given to me by my grandfather in the United States) and started to read Psalm 23.
I began to read it all day long, 10 times a day, until I finally understood the message of the Psalm that God revealed to me.
The Psalm was about the comfort, the Lord was giving us all the time; the protection that we receive when the danger comes into our way and; the hope that can only be found in Him through faith.
After reading and analyzing, I began to research about those terms and I asked myself “what does these terms mean and how will it apply to me and to my brethren?”
Doing a lot of research, again, was not an easy task. I opened so many dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries from the internet and when I felt that I’m contented with the meanings that I’ve researched and I believed that such were given to me by God just for my age, I started writing my draft.
My draft took a lot of process in the sense that I always have to write on paper and then let my parents checked for corrections.
My first draft was not right and I’m not convinced with my own writing. I re-wrote it and still not convinced. The third draft was somehow good and I showed it to my mom first. He revised it. Correcting grammars and tenses so that it may be presentable and then, I wrote it to my computer.
After re-writing my speech, I called my dad and had it checked for grammars, tenses and style. He was not convinced and that’s the time that he began to re-write and make it a beautiful and elegant speech. Beautiful because of the allegories and metaphor he used and elegant in the sense that it made me, my sister, dad and mom encouraged.
It was Saturday, July 17 when I printed out my sermon and started rehearsing in front of the mirror. I did this to gain confidence and not loose it.
I kept on repeating, repeating, and repeating until I master my style and confidence in delivering my speech.
Here comes the day!
It was Sunday morning, I woke up early in the morning to rehearse again. Took up my breakfast and the daily routines that I need to do at home. As the time drew nearer, my heartbeat grows strong. My hands were shaking, as well as my knees and I felt that my whole body was freezing that I can no longer move.
At 4:00 pm, I started to take a bath for 15 minutes. After bath, I wore my best attire for that day so that when I stand up before the congregation I would be presentable because I am the preacher for that night.
At 5:00 pm, we went to church. When we arrived at the chapel, we saw the brethren singing and making melodies in their hearts to the Lord. We joined them. We created a very encouraging melody from our hearts.
At 6:00 pm, we started our evening worship service. As usual, we sing, pray and partake in the Lord’s Supper.
After the Lord’s Supper, it was my time to shine.
I delivered my first sermon about the Lord’s My Shepherd. I delivered it in English language. I also insert some Filipino words though I’m not sure even the words I used was correct but the important thing is, I was able to deliver it as if it was the last sermon that I will deliver before the congregation.
I cracked jokes and the brethren laughed at it. Then I realized that I do have a sense of humor. “Men!” I said, “never thought that I can make other people laugh.”
After my sermon, my brethren gave me encouraging words like “continue on my what you are doing and you will a good preacher”, and “keep up the good work,” also, “you did a great job” again, “were very thankful for helping the church in her ministry!”
I cannot probably describe the happiness that I felt during that night that when we arrived at home, I was smiling all the time. I cannot even sleep because of that joy and happiness that I felt. I never thought also that I can speak and deliver God’s message to the church and for me, that was a successful one. I believed that God was with me during that time.
I thanked Him that night. I prayed to Him that night. I thanked Him because He did not left me alone. I also thanked my parents for supporting me likewise the brethren that encouraged me to deliver my sermon at its best.
So that was it. That’s my story of being part of the first time preachers in town and I hope that my sermon became a challenge to those people of my age that they can also do it even greater than what I did.