Last Update 5th October, 2016.
“90% of unchurched people choose a church based on the pastor or preaching. Thom Rainer” [Tweet this]
You and I agree that preaching is important, not only to gain more people, but to retain and train them too.
When a preacher grows, the church often grows.
Although you want to preach better sermons, what with leading a team of staff, administration duties, serving people and all those unplanned events that just crop up in the course of the average day, the most important task of investing time into improving your preaching and delivering better sermons can often overlooked.
The better you prepare, the better you present.
This is why, though the Preaching Rocket Core Coaching program will always be my #1 recommendation for preachers looking to preach better sermons.
(The quality of the training, mixed with the helpful Preaching Rocket community makes this the best way to invest in and grow yourself as a preacher)
Let’s look at 4 steps you can take in your message preparation and help you to preach better sermons.
1. Study Full
Gather as much information as you can on your given subject; collect stories, illustrations, sermon series ideas, interesting statistics and scripture references.
Why not have a designated preaching file or a folder on your desktop, or create a ‘Preaching ideas’ board on Pinterest?
However you choose to do it, whenever you’re inspired or moved or learn something new, keep it. When the time comes you’ll have a valuable go to resource to refer to.
“Make an effort to present yourself to God as a tried-and-true worker, who doesn’t need to be ashamed but is one who interprets the message of truth correctly.” 2 Timothy 2:15
2. Think Clear
This is more important than the first but follows on from it. If you study yourself full but don’t think yourself clear, when you get up to speak, you’ll just give a lot of dislocated facts but no natural flow – I call it theological indigestion…
When you have all the information in front of you, ask:
What is the one message, the one point that I want my people to walk away with and remember for the rest of the week?
With this objective in mind, focus your attention on the relevant content for your sermon.
Just because you normally preach for 45 minutes doesn’t mean you have to every week – don’t fill in time for the sake of filling time.
Don’t be afraid of cutting out a great story if it’s not building up to the main point you want to make.
Put the story back into your folder and don’t worry, you’ll be able to use it another time.
3. Pray Hot
Once you have the basic outline of your sermon in place, you know the content and main purpose of your sermon, take it to God.
Do what you do to feel closest to God.
For me it’s talking a walk down a hidden nature trail with praise music blasting in my ears, for you it might be just to disconnect the phone and close the curtains – whatever you need to do, do it – this is your time to connect with God.
If you’re not passionate about what you’re preaching about, don’t expect your people to get passionate either.
Preaching from the head may be interesting and informative but it never causes life-change.
“Always preach from the heart and you’ll be a great preacher.” [Tweet this]
4. Let Yourself Go!
You’ve studied and researched, your sermon is prepared, you know your main point, you’ve soaked it in prayer before the Father and the message is overflowing from your heart – now just let yourself go.
Don’t be self-conscious – be God-conscious.
If you’re not confident and relaxed when you preach, your congregation will feel uncomfortable – nervousness is contagious, but confidence is too.
Remember God’s message to His church is more important than you are. You’re just an instrument making yourself available to God.
If you study yourself full, think yourself clear, pray yourself hot, and let yourself go you will preach better sermons and everyone will benefit!
In case you haven’t read it yet, here’s my full review of Preaching Rocket and how it can help you become the best preacher you can be.
What do you do for sermon prep? How have you changed since you first started preaching? Share your comments below.