All in Preaching

Clarity Is King.

Most the preachers I know work very hard at the craft God has called them to. They labor hour after hour, week after week, in order to faithfully feed the people God has entrusted to them.

This means...

They work hard to humbly exegete each text. 

They dispense an immense amount of effort into every word.

They carefully craft nearly every sentence. 

They give much thought to the illustrations they use. 

They want the gospel to be front and center every time they climb into the pulpit. 

Despite the hard work, there is one common shortcoming I see in a lot of preaching, including my own. It's a shortcoming that I believe separates the sub-par sermons from the good ones. 

Sweat Your Sermon Intro

The first pastor who really taught me about preaching once told me, “If you open strong, close strong, and hit your transitions, your sermon will take care of itself.” While it’s a bit more complicated than that, he was largely correct. Many sermons fall apart before they even start, crash and burn because of an inability to “land the plane”, or lack clarity due to confusion in transition.

 

While I hope to write on each of these sermon elements, I want to start with the importance of a strong sermon introduction. So what makes for an effective sermon illustration? In a sentence:

5 Prayer Requests For Those Listening To Preaching

Preachers aren’t the only people who need to pray prior to the preaching of God’s word. Every Christian should spend time in prayer before sitting under a sermon. If your pastor is a faithful Bible teacher then each week you have the opportunity to hear God speak in a heart-altering, life-changing manner. This should be taken seriously and prepared for properly. 

If you want the most out of the next sermon you listen to, here are five prayer requests for those listening to preaching:

5 Prayer Requests For Preachers

Prayer is the most effective and often neglected tool in the preparation of a sermon. It should go without saying (though sadly it cannot), that the preparation of a sermon requires meditating on the text, reading commentary, studying cultural background, and the hard work of illustrating and applying God’s word in a way that’s helpful. 

However, no amount of study will make up for a lack of supplication. Ingenuity won’t cover up the obvious absence of intercession for the church body. Rhetorical power is a sorry substitute for prayer-soaked proclamation. 

The preacher preps the sermon, but prayer preps the preacher. 

People should have a sense that their preacher has been much with God and prayer is an indispensable means of doing just that. But what should we as preachers be praying for? Here are 5 prayer requests for preachers:

11 Issues Impacting Your Preaching

When I first started preaching, I had one and only one thought on Sunday mornings: 

"Don't forget what you want to say."

I walked around like I was carrying a cup of coffee that was just a little too full, afraid if someone bumped me, my sermon may spill out of my mind and onto the floor. I'm more relaxed now, yet still aware of how difficult preaching well truly is.

There are so many ways a sermon can go wrong. I know God's Word never returns void and I'm thankful that the caliber of God's work isn't determined by the quality of my preaching. Personally, I just never want that to be an excuse for phoning in a crappy sermon. 

The longer I preach, the more aware I am of just how many issues impact my preaching. I can study, pray, and prepare hard and still crash and burn on Sunday - I know because I've done it. Preparation is paramount, but there are other factors in play. 

Here are 11 issues that impact the preacher in no particular order...