We all want to preach better sermons but there’s just one problem…
The lack of that very precious thing called time.
There just never seems to be enough of it.
What with leading a team of staff, admin, dealing with those unexpected things that can take up your whole day, your sermon prep can be often overlooked.
The most important task of developing yourself as a preacher can often be overlooked.
The truth is if you can prepare sermons better that will inevitably lead to you preaching better. That’s why I want to give you 4 simple steps you can take to make your sermon prep that much easier.
Here they are:
1. Study Full
Every great sermon starts with a great idea which is why having a way of collecting and storing your ideas is crucial.
You could even have a designated preaching folder on your desktop or create a ‘Preaching ideas’ board on Pinterest.
However you do it, whenever you’re inspired or moved or learn something new, make a note and keep it. When the time comes you’ll have a valuable go-to resource you can 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 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 for another sermon later.
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, you’re prepared and practiced. You’ve soaked it in prayer before the Father and the message is overflowing from your heart – now it’s time to 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!
Great preaching is the #1 trigger of church growth
Preaching has more impact on the overall growth and health of your church than anything else you do, combined.
When you preach better sermons everyone benefits.
If you want to see a dramatic improvement in your preaching and be able to claim your Saturdays back from grueling sermon preparation there’s only ONE program I really recommend. Click here for the step-by-step preaching system I follow.