Almost any level of an individual’s public speaking skills is acceptable as a starting point. Effective proclamation of the Scriptures depends on the quality of how the lector prepares to minister to his or her fellow disciples in the Assembly. This preparation includes three areas:
1. Sensitivity to the personal meaning and significance of the specific Scriptural passage being proclaimed. One’s knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures and the events, circumstances, or concepts they describe, supplemented by on-going study, practice and general religious education is essential to successful proclamation.
2. Conviction that God is using the lector’s skills, knowledge, and example of Christian living to reach others who most need to hear God’s Word at the moment it is proclaimed. In brief: to be an effective Witness to the lector’s Faith.|
3. The use of pauses, pace, voice tone, word color and stress (i.e. emotional expression), and related speaking skills to help the members of the Assembly paint a mental image of what is going on in the Scripture passage.
In most church communities training for Ministers of the Word seldom means more than “orientation.” It is assumed that providing time for “new” lectors to learn the mechanics of microphone usage, protocols to be observed when approaching or around the altar area, as well as some type of preparation materials (i.e., Workbook for Lectors and Gospel Readers [LTP]) is adequate “training.” It may also include some type of annual session consisting of attempts to combine spiritual development with useful or insightful commentary from a guest speaker. Rarely do parishes provide a consistent, intentional, specific effort of ongoing training for lectors that reflects the skill and attitudinal sets to be developed and sustained by the lay people involved in the ministry. Further, there is almost no recognition of the differences in training needs that can exist between “new” lectors and veteran, “seasoned” lectors.
No doubt one reason for all of this is due to the busy schedules the clergy have. Another involves the availability of volunteer lay persons willing to be responsible for leading such ministries or to accept the training leadership responsibility. A third reason is the assumption that existing lectors can train themselves as needed.
But an overwhelming reason seems to be the absence of easy-to-use, documented training materials designed as a complete program for the training leader of the ministry to use with lectors as a group.
The last reason has now been addressed! A description of two fully documented training programs be found by clicking on the links in the TRAINING tab menu, above.
If you have any questions about the materials or how to obtain them please contact us!