Bob Turner and Jim Martin – Preaching Online and Anxious

HST Library Director Bob Turner and Vice President Jim Martin share wisdom for preachers who find themselves in a new situation of preaching online during an anxious time. As church assemblies have moved online during the current global health crisis, preachers who have trained hard and spent a career preaching in pulpits are now preaching in empty auditoriums or from home.

Martin and Turner offer helpful suggestions. Top take-aways include:

  • Think about your own level of anxiety. Use your presence and vocal tone to provide a calming influence.
  • Think about the people you see each week. Where do they sit in the auditorium? What is their life situation?
  • People really need to hear the Gospel in their context in your voice. Make references to familiar things that help them see this as their congregation (youth events, someone you spoke to this week, etc.).
  • Consider calling all of your members personally during the week. Member care is a critical part of connecting when you cannot be face to face.
  • A lot of folks need reassurance.

Jim Martin preached for 35 years, including 23 at one congregation in Waco, TX. He continues to preach in various churches in the Memphis area. He also serves as a mentor for many young preachers. He has served as VP of Harding University responsible for the HST campus since 2014.

Bob Turner preaches twice each month at the Church of Christ at White Station in Memphis. He has been with HST since 2009. He publishes a newsletter of curated resources for ministers called Footnotes. Subscribe here.

Harding School of Theology (HST), a seminary in Memphis, TN, has been equipping ministers since 1958. Accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, and offering degree programs at the master’s and doctoral levels, HST equips Christian leaders to higher standards of ministry scholarship and challenges them to a deeper faith in God. Combining academic rigor and interpersonal connections, HST emphasizes student engagement in ministry as they study. HST is associated with Churches of Christ, is part of the Stone-Campbell Movement, and is part of Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.