How did your sermon go last week?
Not as good as you hoped?
Better than you expected?
I recently came across a short video on YouTube of a guy preaching. The video is given the title ‘Worst preaching ever’.
I’ll let you watch the video and decide for yourself!
Now, can you just imagine with me for a second that one day while browsing the internet 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 that there are things you can do to avoid being like this guy…!
Great online preaching courses like Preaching Rocket can really help shift your sermons to a whole new level.
The helpful Preaching Rocket community makes this the best way to invest in and grow yourself as a preacher.
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…
The Top 10 Biggest Mistakes Preachers Make
1. Cramming: If you want your sermon to be terrible then try and cram as much as you can, everything you’ve ever learned into 30 minutes of preaching. Squeezing the Bible like this will impress everyone with how much you know.
2. Skimming: This is where quantity takes precedent over quality. In your preaching try and quote as many verses as possible and just skim over the surface of the text. Teach nothing that someone with average intelligence would not have derived from the text themselves.
3. Coasting: Whether you’re young and confident or older and experienced, don’t 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 be standing in the front of the people just making stuff up as you go along before you know it.
4. Proof-texting: Including lots and lots of texts from all over the Bible, and sometimes diverting hearers by expounding the proof texts as much as the sermon text.
5. Over-Quoting: If you want to be a terrible preacher then squeeze too many quotes from commentators, theologians, and other preachers from the past and the present.
6. Lecturing: It’s difficult to define the difference between preaching and lecturing, but you know it when you see it/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.
7. Assuming: You may have heard this parable of Jesus a hundred times so simply assume everyone else has too. Don’t use a reference, jargon or theological phrases without giving a bit of background info first. This will help keep everyone in the room with you.
8. Confusing: Hearers are left confused usually because of a lack of structure or too complicated a structure (main points, sub-points, etc.); or sometimes there is a good structure, but it’s not sufficiently highlighted and emphasized so that hearers know where they’ve been, where they are, and where they are going.
9. Scattering: Lots and lots of info, but no single big idea; it’s the difference between the an ordinary light bulb and a laser light. Have one point that you’re taking everyone too. If you’ve got a lot of points to cover you might want to consider making it into a monthly sermon series.
10. Complicating: Have you ever walked away from a sermon more confused than when you arrived? As preachers we should be bring the Bible to life highlighting the simple and relevant application of it. Not being so loft that we lose everyone somewhere in the clouds.
What’s the biggest mistake you made when preaching? If you could go back and speak to yourself right before your first ever preach, what would you say? Leave your comment below.