Sometimes, as preachers, we need to speak with so many other details on our minds, particularly administrative issues. How do we make a mental shift to be able to spiritually and mentally throw ourselves into the messages we have prepared?
I have personally found several tips helpful. I would be the first to admit sometimes they help more than others, but they have all helped to some degree.
The most helpful exercise will always be prayer. I remind myself that God is more concerned about this message than I am. I ask him to help me make the needed mental shift. When I felt the weakest in making the shift is when I have felt His strength the greatest.
Do something that helps you unwind, something completely different from speaking. That may mean getting in a good jog, going to the gym, mowing the yard, or spending an hour on a household project. Getting your mind on something other than speaking is often a big help. That activity may only last 30 minutes instead of an hour or two, which would be preferable. It still helps to unwind my mind.
If you’re good at power naps, take one. If you’re able to fall completely asleep and wake up in 20 to 30 minutes that can refresh you.
Another suggestion is to find someone with whom you can interact about your message in a relaxing, informal way. That will help your mind get in the groove it needs to be in as you prepare to give your message.
A final thing that helps me is to lean back, relax, and just meditate through my message. Understand that this is not a power nap, but just closing my eyes and thinking through what I am about to preach. I don’t preach the message to myself; I just think the message.
Making a mental shift is not always an easy thing to do, but any combination of the above helps put me on the right track as I prepare to deliver my message.