Preaching and teaching God’s Word is a great privilege.  It is also an enormous responsibility.   This guide will give you confidence when invited to preach in some else’s pulpit.

“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;”  Ephesians 3:8

There is no greater privilege than to teach the Holy Word of God.   God entrusts the pastor to feed, lead, and protect the local church.  He must ensure that sound doctrine is taught from the pulpit in services and ministries.  It is a great show of faith in you to be asked to preach or teach in his ministry.  You are accountable to God for what you preach.  He is accountable to God for allowing you to preach.  Respect His position and trust in you by reviewing the ethical considerations of guest preaching.

I have taught these concepts over the years to preachers and teachers.  They can be adapted to any public speaking situation.  Hopefully, they will be a blessing to you.


Your motivation will direct your attitude and objectives during your speaking opportunity.  What are your goals in preaching and teaching?  Let me offer a few.

  • Glorify God
  • Encourage the preacher and his family
  • Help the church
  • Win the lost
  • Be God’s Representative
  • Increase God’s Kingdom


It is a great privilege to be trusted by God and by the pastor to preach or teach God’s Word.  Here are some subjects to consider during your conversation with the pastor about the opportunity.

  • Ask him why would he like you to come?  What would he like God to accomplish through you?
  • Ask if there is a particular subject he wants you to mention?
  • Thank him for the opportunity.
  • Tell him what an honor it is to preach God’s Word and that you do not take it lightly.
  • Ensure him you will ask the Lord to use you to help him and the church.


Preparation of yourself and your message is crucial to being used of God.  Think through your responsibilities in the message and how you will interact with people before the service.

  • Honestly, seek the Lord about self & sermon.
  • Don’t preach anything new, controversial, or trendy.  Stick to the milk and the meat of the Word.
  • Be Spirit-filled.  Only He can breathe Life into them and make an eternal difference.
  • If possible, arrive early enough to go soulwinning.  Give the pastor any prospects or contacts.
  • Show up with the attitude of ministering to them instead of being ministered to by them.
  • Arrive early to view the auditorium and to pray in it.
  • Ask the preacher what you can do to help.
    Set up, Greet people, Etc.
  • Ask about the order of service.


Remember these essential items when you get to the pulpit and begin your message.

  • Greet the people.
  • Take a few minutes to win the congregation to yourself and let them get to know you.  Be charming.
  • Say a kind word about the Church.
  • Declare your love and belief in the pastor and how blessed the church is to have him.  Build the pastor.
  • Encourage guests to return to hear the pastor.
  • Greet them from your family and church.
  • Thank God for the privilege to preach His Word there.
  • Dive in and preach what God has given you with all your heart.


The invitation is the moment when you encourage the congregation to make decisions that will change lives and eternal destinies.  Prepare for this critical time.

  • Have a hook. A hook is something specific you ask the people to do, believe, and feel.
  • Usually, you will start the invitation then turn it over to the pastor.  Remember to mention the opportunities to be saved, request baptism, make a decision regarding the message, request church membership.
  • Follow the pastor’s direction if he wants to do it differently.  Ask him what he prefers.
  • Find a spot to pray for God to work during the invitation.


Your message is not done until you leave the building.  Make final connections with the people and the pastor before you leave.

  • Greet the people as they leave.
  • Give God the Glory.
  • Thank the pastor personally for the opportunity.
  • Ask if the pastor needs anything before you go.
  • Pray with the pastor, asking God to bless him, his family, and the church.
  • Write a letter to the pastor and the church thanking them for the opportunity and their hospitality.


Do you have anything to add?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.