This fall, SCC’s Greater Los Angeles Region held its first-ever virtual preaching and homiletics training for elders and laypeople. With a practical, original curriculum, the four presentations by Gamal Alexander, Compton Community church senior pastor, focused on practical and applicable tips.
Elders and laypeople are often called upon to facilitate in group studies or even to preach from the pulpit, but these can be intimidating tasks. With this in mind, Alexander, whose emphasis while studying at the seminary was homiletics, sought to simplify the topic by giving instruction on how to map out a sermon based on an idea or a verse and make it memorable.
“The normal everyday person has a 9 to 5 job and doesn’t have time to read everything published on preaching,” Alexander explained. “They’re staring at a blank page and don’t know what to do. In the training, I tell them what to do and how. Hopefully, when they see how simple it is, they can say, ‘I just have to take these four steps, and I’ll be ready to preach. I respect the craft, but I also know that I can do it.’”
Sheldon Brooks, Antelope Valley church treasurer, elder, and Sabbath School teacher, attended three of the four sessions during this year’s virtual training and found the instruction to be immensely helpful. “I purchased his book after the first session I attended, and in the foreword of the book, someone wrote that they wished they would have read his book 20 years ago,” Brooks said. “If I’d been to one of his trainings or read his book 20 years ago, it would definitely have helped in my development as a speaker.”
Alexander originally wrote the training for Oakwood’s 2019 Pastors Evangelism & Leadership Conference. Instead of providing handouts to accompany the training, he put everything into the form of a book, which he made available to attendees, titled Preach E.A.S.Y.: Preaching That Effectively Authentically Shares Your Story.
“I’m not really a preacher,” Brooks shared. “I’m an elder. Sometimes elders are called to preach, and, like most elders, I take it seriously. It was very helpful—the book, the training, his energy, his knowledge. I look forward to putting the concepts and principles to use.”
“It was a great tool,” Royal Harrison, Greater Los Angeles Region director, said of the training. “Alexander does a phenomenal job. He’s just a gifted, gifted presenter. He made it so simple and so easy that anybody can do it, and this will increase our region’s ability to get the gospel out into areas where we are not reaching.”