How did your sermon go last week?
Not as good as you hoped?
Better than you expected?
In this post, we’ll go over 10 of the biggest mistakes preachers make so you don’t have to.
I recently came across a short video on YouTube of a guy preaching entitled “Worst preaching ever”.
Here it is so you can decide for yourself:
Now, can you just imagine if one day you came across “the worst preaching ever” and it turned out to be one of your sermons?!
How would you react? What would you think?
The good news is there are things you can do to avoid being like this guy.
In the meantime, here are the 10 biggest mistakes preachers make.
Hopefully putting a name to these can help us to avoid these common pitfalls and help you improve your preaching.
The Top 10 Biggest Mistakes Preachers Make
Mistake #1. Cramming
One of the most common mistakes preachers make is trying to cram an excessive amount of information into a limited sermon time.
While a vast knowledge of scripture is admirable, overwhelming your congregation with an avalanche of content can hinder their ability to absorb and engage with the message.
Remember, it’s not about impressing with sheer volume but about finding the right balance between depth and conciseness.
37 minutes seems to be about the right length of time for a sermon.
Going over that can put you at risk of boring preaching.
If your chosen text really has 6 points then instead of trying to run through them all in one week, you could turn it into a sermon series and spread it over 6 weeks.
Mistake #2. Skimming
This one kind of follows on from cramming…
Rushing through verses without delving into their significance can lead to surface-level preaching.
Instead of skimming over multiple scriptures, focus on exploring a few key passages deeply.
Take the time to unravel the layers of meaning and show how they relate to real-life situations.
This approach allows your congregation to connect more intimately with the Word and find personal applications for their lives.
Mistake #3. Coasting
Whether you’re a beginner preacher preaching your first sermon or a more experienced preacher, never fall into the trap of not preparing enough beforehand.
This may be an obvious one to some but with time restraints and daily distractions, you could be standing in the front of the people just making stuff up as you go along before you know it.
This is one surefire way to preach boring sermons.
The better you prepare, the better you preach.
You want to learn how to write sermons well so that when it comes time to stand before your congregation, you can speak from a place of understanding and spiritual depth.
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Mistake #4. Proof-Texting
Quoting numerous scriptures can enhance your sermon, but be cautious of proof-texting i.e. using verses out of context to support a point.
Instead, immerse yourself in the context of each passage, understanding its historical and literary setting.
Contextual accuracy ensures that you present the Word with integrity and relevance and can preach with confidence knowing you’re preaching on a solid foundation.
Mistake #5. Overquoting
While quotes from theologians and other preachers can add depth and insight, avoid over-quoting to the point of diminishing your own unique voice.
The last thing you want to do is detract or take away from your main message in any way.
Mistake #6. Lecturing
It’s difficult to define the difference between preaching and lecturing, but you know it when you see it and hear it.
It’s something to do with people sensing they’re being talked down to…
It’s about passion, eye contact, persuasion, urgency, etc.
Preaching is not a one-sided lecture; it’s an opportunity to connect with your congregation and grow together on a personal and emotional level.
Mistake #7. Assuming
You may have heard this parable of Jesus a hundred times so simply assume everyone else has too.
This is definitely one of the most common preaching mistakes.
As a preacher, you may have an in-depth understanding of biblical stories and jargon, but never assume the same level of familiarity in your congregation.
Always provide context and background information to ensure everyone feels included and engaged throughout your sermon.
This will help keep everyone in the room with you.
Mistake #8. Confusing
Confusing sermons often result from a lack of structure or an overly complicated organization of points.
Be intentional in crafting a coherent framework that guides your congregation seamlessly through your message.
Highlight your main points, use clear transitions, and help your listeners understand the progression of ideas.
A well-structured sermon leaves a lasting impact and ensures your message is memorable and meaningful.
Mistake #9. Scattering
Preaching should be like a laser light, not a scattered bulb.
Identify the central idea you want to communicate and let it guide every aspect of your sermon.
One of the best ways to preach better sermons is to spend a bit of time in your prep time to really think about and get clarity on the ONE big idea you want them to grasp.
Mistake #10. Complicating
Have you ever walked away from a sermon more confused than when you arrived?
Yeah, me too.
As preachers, we need to bring the Bible to life and highlight how we can apply it in our everyday lives…
We don’t want to make the mistake of being so aloft and abstract that we lose everyone somewhere in the clouds.
Take Your Preaching To The Next Level
Avoid making these top 10 preaching mistakes and you’re already well on your way to becoming a better preacher.
And following step-by-step preaching training is the single best way to improve your preaching.
So if you want to learn a solid sermon system and claim your Saturdays back from gruelling sermon prep then check out these top preaching courses…
🏆 Best Preaching Courses 🏆
What Preaching Mistakes Have You Made?
If you could go back and speak to yourself right before your first-ever sermon, what would you say?
What’s the biggest blunder you’ve ever made while preaching?
Scroll down and share your stories with us! 🤗