It needs to be stated bluntly that there are DANGERS attached to preaching without notes.
- it elevates technique. As Adrian Reynolds posted: "Authenticity in preaching does not come from the use or lack of notes, but from a preacher so engaged in the Word, so convinced of its relevance for today, so gripped by the power of the gospel that conviction is powerfully and spiritually evident - notes or no notes." Mode of delivery should never be exalted over content.
- it boosts ego. Because preaching without notes makes a preacher look good it can add gloss to personal performance. Preachers shining in their own glory always diminish the Lord's glory.
- it capitulates to culture. Rhetoric has consistently valued the role of memory and contemporary culture is impressed by leaders who speak well from the heart and not from paper. Impressing listeners should never be a preacher's motive.
- it can encourage 'winging it'. Preaching without notes may also permit habits of winging material with dangers of extempore word-wasting, dumbing down exact language and biblical doctrine.
I admit at the outset that these dangers are real (and perhaps you can add some more). YET, I strongly believe preachers should take preaching without notes seriously. Look out for some more posts!