I’ve developed a number of convictions that drive my preaching. Week after week these things influence my preparation and approach. I’ve only been preaching weekly for about four years, so I’m sure this list will grow and change over time.
This is not an exhaustive list and is given in no particular order.
- The point of the Bible’s text should be the point of the sermon.
- It’s the preacher’s job to make the audience care about listening. If they’re not engaged, it’s his fault.
- The gospel needs to be preached as the solution rather than just telling people to try harder.
- The preacher must demonstrate care for his listeners as people and not just care for his message.
- Illustrations and stories are what people often remember.
- Illustrations can easily overshadow the point or be self-indulgent. Beware.
- People don’t remember what you say. They remember what you emphasize and get excited about.
- Ezra 7:10 says that “Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules.” The order matters.
- Preach to the heart. Motivation to change almost always comes from connecting with the truth at an emotional level.
- Every sermon should be understandable and challenging to both Christians and non-Christians.
- It’s your job to prepare the meal, set the table and not drop the food. It’s God’s job to make it taste good.
- Your ability to communicate fluently is dependent on how much you’ve internalized the material.
- Details make things more engaging, especially in using stories or illustrations.
- It’s easier to discover what the passage says and means than it is to surgically apply it to daily life.
- People love to be challenged if they believe you have their best interest at heart.
- A wise preacher checks with his wife before using her or the kids as an illustration.
- People don’t remember much of what you say, so don’t be too discouraged when it goes poorly or too excited when it goes well.
- Preaching two services helps you improve twice as fast.
- The only way to improve at preaching is to do it.
- If you sweat, use a black towel.
Which of these lessons resonate with you the most? Why?