Random Thoughts on Preaching

Here are some of my random thoughts on preaching from my 34 years as a senior pastor.

1. Boring preaching is criminal. The most important and amazing message in history and you are going to make it sound boring? Jail time.

2. It is hard for preaching to be boring if the preacher is excited about the text.

3. The preacher’s devotional life affects his preaching. Maybe you can get away with it for a while, but neglect time alone with God and preaching will suffer in the long run.

4. You can’t separate who you are from the task of preaching.

5. Preachers who read a lot have a better chance of being effective long-term preachers.

6. Preachers can learn to get better at preaching. If you don’t… jail time.

7. Learning from other preachers is great, but imitating them is just weird. Be the best version of you in the pulpit.

8. Skinny jeans don’t work on every preacher.

9. Good illustrations grab attention (more important than ever) and help us see the truth in a different way. Jesus used stories.

10. Tell us why the text matters to us. Answer the question, “So what?” Application matters.

11. Think through the text yourself before you go to the commentaries.

12. Beware crutch words like “um”, “uhh” and “like”. You might not notice them, but once people notice them, they will find it hard to hear anything else.

13. You must become your own best critic. Don’t listen too closely to those who love you or those who hate you.

14. If you want people to invite others to church you need to hit a single every week. You don’t have to hit a home run (those are nice) but it has to be at least a single every week.

15. Care more about what God thinks than what people think.

16. Be sure your sermon has a point.

17. Pray for your sermon, for those who will come and for the power of the Holy Spirit before every message.

18. Be bold in inviting people to respond to the gospel. You have the same Holy Spirit that Peter had at Pentecost.

19. Repeating yourself can get very repetitive.

20. It is amazing what God can do with a preacher who is sold out to him!

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