Thursday, June 11, 2015

3 Tips for Preachers

Weekly we are inundated with sales brochures, materials, and conferences promoting some new strategy for pastoral success.  While many of these things are helpful, sometimes the message is lost in all their words.  If I could encourage you to make 3 small changes to your preaching, I would challenge you to:

1.  Preach Passionately - You must feel your sermons before you can expect others to be moved by them.  No, I am not encouraging you to turn on the tears like one might flip a light-switch, but I am encouraging you to ask God to ignite a zeal in your heart for the messages you bring.  Feel it.  Let it effect you emotionally.  Lord, deliver us from dry preaching.

2.  Preach Pointedly - Stay on point.  When your people leave they need to have a good grasp of the 'Big Idea' of the sermon.  What is the one thing you want them to remember?  Could they explain in one sentence what the message was about?  What action or step can they take to apply the message? Without a point, the best contextual analysis is lifeless and uninspiring.

3.  Preach Purposefully - Develop a preaching plan... a calendar.  Prayerfully outline ministry objectives and preaching schedules well in advance.  If you cannot produce an annual calendar, in the very least stay 3 months ahead of yourself.  This will give you time to think through your topics/texts strategically. This will help you avoid 'hobby-horse' preaching where we only hit the topics we are particularly interested in.

These three "tweaks" will dramatically improve your preaching.