The Manuscript Maze (part four)

February 23, 2007

Our fourth and final week of the Manuscript Maze brings us not so much to a conclusion, as simply to the third main method people use. At the end of the day, it would seem foolish to prescribe a once for all method since Scripture doesn’t do so. What is left for us to consider then, is a reduced manuscript.


What then are the pros and cons of this method?

1. It allows some support to the preacher who may not have the memory capacity to remember much of the sermon detail. There is always a fall back if the preacher struggles.
2. It aids the preacher to carefully word particular points in the sermon, should he feel the need to do so.
3. It still provides the preacher with a great degree of freedom, and it is less likely he will ‘read his sermon’ or be tied to his notes.

1. This method may still take a large an amount of preparation time, especially if a full manuscript is developed, then reduced to a shorter outline.
2. Arguably, it may not be as ‘free’ as extemporaneous preaching, or as ‘careful’ as a fully developed outline.
3. If a full manuscript has never been developed, then the same weakness may be leveled as against the extemporaneous approach: the language of delivery may not be so thought through or clear.

Previous posts
* the Manuscript Maze (part one)
* the Manuscript Maze (part two)
* the Manuscript Maze (part three)
* the Manuscript Maze (part four)



  1. Pros
    4. It’s what Spurgeon used.


  2. Nice one David! From what I’ve read about Spurgeon, I think he fluctuated between just about every method; but he was certainly more towards the extemporaneous, or reduced manuscript end of the spectrum…

  3. My “reduced manuscript” is a full 3 pages this week. Probably more like a mini-manuscript.

  4. The Manuscript:

    Fundamentalist do not use notes, only the Sword of the Lord.

    Extemporaneous preaching was norm for preachers in my camp from youth up. My dad had a few notes when he preached in the 20’s thru 60’s.

    Expostional teaching was not the method of preaching that was taught in Seminary in Arlington Texas. Or at Hyles-Anderson College.

    What made me go to a full manuscript was the discipline of study. Following my Shepherd’s Conference in 1983, and learning what preaching/ teaching was really about, then I changed. MacArthur read’s most of his sermons.

    Every preacher has their style of preaching and there are some good preachers in all four classes that you have mention.

    For me, I love the study of the Word, I love the research of the text, and I love when its put down on paper. I knew the message when I taught on Sunday.

    Good post


    Nor was

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