You’ve been asked to preach, maybe for the very first time and perhaps you don’t feel quite ready 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?
I am not the best preacher on the planet, but I am passionate about always getting better.
So here are 6 tips and guidelines I’ve learned along the way that I think will really help point you in the right direction as you learn how to preach.
1. The Better You Prep, The Better You Present
If you can find an effective way to write sermon outlines then you’re already well on your way to winning.
Preparing sermons 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 was painful and tiresome.
Now I’m happy to say 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.
I can walk confidently up to the pulpit knowing that I’ve prepared well and nothing makes me feel more alive than standing in front of a congregation and preaching my heart out knowing I’m giving my best.
But it took me too long to get to this point…
And it doesn’t have to be like that for you.
“A great sermon doesn’t just happen by accident.”
If you want to become the best preacher you can be then I highly recommend you invest in some good preacher training.
Here are the best preaching courses I’ve found so far…
🏆 Best Preaching Courses 🏆
2. Preach Like Jesus
People love a good story.
Jesus knew this and never preached without using stories and illustrations.
You can preach like Jesus by using relatable, 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.
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.”
Before you get up and preach you should always have your end goal in mind and work backwards from there.
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?
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 then 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 trying to overcome the fear of preaching:
“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 on the important job at hand and forgetting all about those nerves.
Elevate Your Preaching With Killer Sermons Academy 🎙️
5. Get Honest Feedback
After you 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 what they 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.
You can just set up your phone somewhere inconspicuous to record yourself.
You can also get feedback from faithful members of your church.
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:
Read Books About Preaching
Here are my top 5 preaching book recommendations.
Subscribe To Preaching Blogs
Here are 3 epic blogs about preaching.
Get The Best Training
With top preaching coaching you learn from the best preachers of our time.
So take action today and start developing your skills!
The best preachers are the ones that never stop learning and growing.