To Thine Own Self Be True: Preaching with Authenticity

T Stewart preaching

One of Shakespeare’s most famous quotes comes from the character Polonius in Hamlet.  He says “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” While I have never been a huge fan of this tragedy, I can say that these words constantly ring in my head every time I stand to preach the gospel of Christ.

More than 1300

Jenny-Marble-ThumbnailThere are fifty-two, sometimes fifty-three Sundays in a given calendar year. When I multiply the twenty-five years I have been alive by the approximately fifty-two sermons I listen to yearly, and adding any other conferences, camp meetings, sermons I view online, the result is more than 1300.

Since the age of ten I have collected sermon notes of every sermon I have listened to partially because I am a nerd and I know it helps me retain the material, but more importantly I knew from a young age that I would be preaching some day and I wanted to remember how others preached. Sure, I have hundreds and hundreds of church bulletins and programs with notes I could reference to recall my memory, but when I think about it, I can only remember three or four sermons.

It is not that I can recall the sermons in their entirety; I remember how they were presented, and how they impacted the preacher.