Last Update 9th October, 2016.
You’ve been asked to preach, maybe for the very first time and perhaps you don’t feel quite reach to be thrown into the spotlight?
Read on, this post is definitely for you.
Many people are asked to prepare and present a sermon without really being given much training or guidance.
It’s all down to you! No pressure, right?
So here are a few tips and guidelines that I think will really help point you in the right direction as you learn how to preach.
I am not the best preacher on the planet, but I am passionate about always getting better.
Here are a few things that I have learned along my preaching journey that can help you as your learn how to be the best preacher you can be.
“A great sermon doesn’t just happen by accident.” #sermonprep [Tweet this]
1. Effective sermon prepping
The better your prepare, the better you present.
If you can find an effective way to write sermon outlines then you’re well on your way to winning.
Preaching Rocket has completely changed the way I prepare sermons. It used to be a real chore for me.
I know I should’ve felt honoured to be given an opportunity to preach, but honestly, it painful and tiresome.
Now I can happily tell you it’s not like that anymore.
Now I actually revel at the prospect of preaching, I’m excited to hear what God’s Word has to say.
Now I can walk confidently up to the pulpit knowing that I’ve prepared well. Today nothing makes me feel more alive than standing in front of a congregation preaching my heart out knowing that I’m preaching well.
But it took me too long to get to this point. It doesn’t have to be like that for you.
Don’t ever let preparing your sermon become a chore – I can not recommend Preaching Rocket highly enough if you are serious about learning how to preach.
Compiled by my friends at the Rocket Company, this practical coaching covers everything from how to prepare your sermons, how to engage your audience and much more.
2. Preach like Jesus
People always love a good story.
Jesus knew this and never preached without using stories and illustrations.
You can Preach like Jesus and use relateable, practical and engaging stories in your sermons. You can source personal stories from your own experience or find relevant examples online.
People might not remember your 3 points and list of how-to’s but they will always remember your stories.
You can also sign up for my free crash course on becoming a master storyteller here.
3. Always have a call to action
“A sermon fails, though it be well presented, biblical and inspiring, if it has no call to action.” [Tweet this]
Before you get up and preach you should always have your end goal in mind.
What is the main point you want people to take away with them?
What do you want them to do with the truth you have given them?
I always start my preaching preparation with the end in mind and work backwards from there.
Here’s a powerful story that John Maxwell shares in his book Everyone Communicates; Few Connect:
“President Abraham Lincoln, an incredible communicator, was known during the Civil War to attend a church not far from the White House on Wednesday nights.
The preacher, Dr. Gurley, allowed the president to sit in the pastor’s study with the door open to the chancel so he could listen to the sermon without having to interact with the crowd.
One Wednesday evening as Lincoln and a companion walked back to the White House after the sermon, the president’s companion asked, “What did you think of tonight’s sermon?”
“Well,” Lincoln responded, “it was brilliantly conceived, biblical, relevant, and well presented.”
“So, it was a great sermon?”
“No,” Lincoln replied. “It failed.
It failed because Dr. Gurley did not ask us to do something great.” Inspiring communicators always expect a lot from their listeners.”
4. Getting over first time jitters
If you’re just starting out as a preacher than the prospect of standing and talking to a group of people for 30 minutes can seem daunting to say the least.
I know that a lot of you reading this will be nervous or anxious at the prospect of preaching for the very first time…
That’s kind of natural but I’ll never forget one thing that someone said to me when I was first learning how to preach, simply:
“The message is more important than you are.”
This has always stayed with me.
When you’re nervous or anxious all of your focus is on you. You’re worried if you’ll do a good job or not, if people will like you and people will think that you are a good preacher.
That’s not important.
Get your thinking off of yourself and instead focus on the message God has given you to preach.
Keep the main thing the main thing and you’ll find yourself concentrating about the important job at hand and forgetting all about those nerves.
5. Get honest feedback
After your preach, ask people for honest feedback, and don’t let them off the hook until they tell you something you can do better.
Many top preachers like Andy Stanley always watch their own preaching back on video and make notes on how what you would do better next time.
As painful as this might sound, watching yourself preach is one of the most effective ways to improve.
You might be thinking right now, “Oh, but you don’t understand, I can’t stand to watch myself on video!”
Yes you can. Just do it. Take notes and improve.
Watch (don’t just listen) to your sermons and see what you’re actually putting people through each week.
If your church doesn’t video record the weekly sermons then try to change that.
In the meantime, just find a way. Set up your iPhone inconspicuously in front of you and right as you’re about to launch into your sermon, hit the record button.
Here’s a sermon evaluation form you can download and print.
6. Never stop learning
“While you are working on your sermon, who’s working on you?”
As you start your journey of learning how to preach, I want to point you in the right direction, so here are 3 resources to get you started:
1) Read books about preaching. Here are my top 5 preaching book recommendations.
2) Get Online Preacher Training. With Preaching Rocket Core Coaching you learn from the best preachers of our time.
Learn from the likes of Andy Stanley, Steven Furtick, Louie Giglio, Ed Stetzer, Dave Ramsey, Jon Acuff, Brad Lomenick and other to preachers of our time as they show you everything you need to know about preaching sermons effectively.
Here’s my full 3,832 Preaching Rocket review and reasons why Preaching Rocket is my #1 recommended preaching coaching resource.
Take action today and start learning! The best preachers are the ones that never stop learning and growing.
I hope you have found this useful as you start your exciting journey into the preaching world.
What advice would you give to future preachers looking to learn how to preach or improve their preaching skills? Leave your comments below.