There are many places to get experience preaching. Some will be easier to arrange than others, and some places will be more comfortable than others,  but all of them will allow you to practice preaching and give you some great feedback on your sermons.

 1. Preach at Church

Probably the most obvious place to get opportunities to preach is in your own church. This is a great place to deliver your first sermons because you’re among family and friends who are cheering you on! They will love to hear the message that God has placed on your heart.

To start preaching at your church, just as your pastor. The pastor would (or should) love to help you get experience preaching. At first, he’ll likely allow you to preach at alternative worship services, such as an early worship service, or a Sunday or Wednesday night. But as you grow in your preaching, he’ll likely also call on you to fill in for him at the primary worship service from time to time when he’s out of town.

And if you ask him, your pastor would probably also give you invaluable tips as to how to develop your sermons, by looking over your notes and helping you clarify or illustrate your points.

2. Preach at Nursing Homes

Another common place to get experience preaching is at nursing homes. Nursing homes often have Sunday morning and Wednesday afternoon services where volunteers come in and lead the residents in worship. Many of the residents would be involved in a church every Sunday and Wednesday if they were able to be, but their health has deteriorated to the point that they need full time care. So they greatly appreciate ministers (even new ones) to come and share God’s Word with them.

It can be a very humbling experience to preach at a nursing home. Since these services are usually optional, the crowd can very greatly. When I’ve preached at nursing homes, I’ve spoken to as many as 20 and as few as 4 people. And no matter how many are present, there will always be a few who fall asleep. The acoustics are rarely ideal, since most chapel services are held in their dining hall without a microphone.

But despite all the challenges associated with preaching at a nursing home, it is a very easy place to get experience preaching, since they are almost always looking for volunteers who will come and preach. Simply call your local nursing home, and they would love to welcome you!

3. Preach in Prisons

I, personally, have never preached in a prison, but I’ve heard that they can be excellent places to preach. The inmates, I’ve heard, are usually very encouraging, and will amaze you at their faith, friendliness, and attentiveness to your sermons. Even though I’ve never preached in a prison, I do suggest you look into it and pursue it if the opportunity presents itself.

4. Preach at Chapel Services

Christian schools, whether elementary, high school, or even college, often have chapel services at least once or twice a week. Some even have services daily. These are great opportunities to preach! The students at these schools are used to hearing a variety of different preachers, and they often love to be introduced to new and young preachers who will preach with passion.

Once again, just call them up to get the ball rolling. The school’s secretary, if it’s a smaller school, is often the person who schedules the chapel speakers. Just introduce yourself over the phone and let them know your desire. They’ll likely be so thankful for your call.

5. Preach in Public Places

Preaching in public places is not for the faint of heart, and should be done tactfully. But I’ve seen several preachers on YouTube who have spoken God’s Word in parks, or on college campuses, or even on street corners. While this might attract hecklers, if done with love, even then you could show God’s love and truth in a way that brings Him glory.

Where are some places that you’d suggest to practice preaching?