Five Distracting Habits of Preachers (And how to fix them)

Every preacher has physical tendencies that unintentionally distract the audience. Sometimes these are known by the preacher and other times they are ticks and habits that must be pointed out to be changed.

All of us could use some coaching in this area. When I look back through videos of my sermons I notice more distracting tendencies than I care to admit!

But there is hope and we can all overcome these by knowing what they are and working to eliminate them.

In this episode, I want to offer five common distractions I’ve observed in preachers over the years. For each one I'll give simple solutions to correct them so that your messages are as distraction-free as possible!

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The Five BEST Books on Church Growth

church leadership May 25, 2023

Living things grow. If something isn’t growing, it’s dying. This is why a church that is not growing is a cause for concern. A church should be alive and one way to know if a church is alive is to look at the numbers.

Numbers aren’t everything, but numbers represent people and each person has a story and every story matters to God (I didn’t come up with that, but I love it).

Every church leader should be intentional about positioning their church for growth.

This is why I’ve pulled together my list of the best five books on church growth.

Each one of these books will give you strategies and actionable best-practices to help grow your church.

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Preach WITHOUT Notes (Here's how - Part 2)

sermon prep May 18, 2023

A few years into my preaching ministry, I began to be intrigued with this idea: What if I could train myself to not need notes when I preach?

What if I could prepare in such a way that I could deliver a message and never look down, but maintain eye contact and physical engagement with my listeners from start to finish?

What if you could, too?

In part two of this series, we'll dive into more of how to train ourselves to not look at our notes when we preach.

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How to Preach WITHOUT Notes (Part 1 of 2)

sermon prep May 11, 2023

We’ve all seen this happen. The preacher walks up to the stage with a Bible, some pieces of paper, and a binder. He spends the first few seconds placing everything on the podium. While he’s doing this the audience is mostly looking at the top of his head as he looks down.

As he begins speaking he reads from one piece of paper, looks up, finds another one in his binder, reads it, looks up again, and then looks down for his next idea. Aside from the sloppiness and the seemingly un-prepared vibe this gives off – it also risks not engaging the audience.

Let’s contrast that scenario with the preacher who gets up on stage and speaks with clarity and command of the room, engages everyone with eye contact and energy, and you never see him look down, fumble through pages, or read from anything but the Bible.

From a communications perspective, the preacher in our first scenario is far less likely to connect with his listeners. He is missing a vital aspect of capturing...

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The Best Five Books on Preaching

sermon prep May 04, 2023

It amazes me the insights and wisdom available to us in great preaching books. My preaching ministry has benefited vastly from some of the books I've read on the topic. I’ve pulled together the books that have impacted my preaching the most.

Each one of these books will help you improve your preaching in distinct ways. I love all of them for different reasons, and my copies are all marked up. In this episode, I'm sharing my list of the best 5 books on preaching.

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This VITAL Step is Missing from Your Sermon Prep

sermon prep May 01, 2023

Every time we preach we have an opportunity to fulfill our God-given calling to impact lives with the truth of God’s Word and the hope of the gospel. But the effectiveness of our preaching is impacted by a host of variables we cannot control, including distractions in the room.

But there is something we can control, and that is how well we prepare.

I find one of the most often neglected aspects of effective sermon preparation is rehearsing the sermon.

By rehearsing I mean preaching the entire message by yourself (or to a handful of people) before you actually preach the sermon to your church.

The reluctance to rehearse is varied. Some preachers might think it’s awkward to preach to themselves. They’re totally right, by the way. It is awkward, but that does not mean you shouldn’t do it. Other preachers might avoid it because they don’t think it’s necessary. Still others may have just never thought of it.

In this episode, I will show you why I...

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Why Your Sermon Points Don't Work (and how to fix them)

sermon prep Mar 31, 2023

You make points in every sermon you preach. You try to communicate at least one point. One idea. One bottom line.

You may have one major point but a number of supporting points. The point is, you make points. Get the point?

So, what do you do with every point you make? Is it enough just to say the words. “My main point is _________. Okay, let’s close in prayer.” Well, we both know that would be insufficient.

We have to do more than just say a point for it to stick. But how do we do this? How do we develop sticky points that land on people in powerful ways?

If you find that your points are not getting across the way you want, it might be that they're missing three key ingredients. In this episode, we are going to dive into the three things you must do with every point you make in your sermons.

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How to Change Up Your Sermon Last Minute

sermon prep Mar 23, 2023

Have you ever prepared a sermon, but when it came time to preach it, you felt led to preach something else?

Or you felt led to change up entire parts of the sermon?

It happens to all of us, and it's wise to be ready for those moments.

There are a number of considerations to deal with, in this episode, I'm going to share seven with you. Seven things to keep in mind if you are going to switch things up last minute.

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3 Simple Ways to Preach for Application

sermon prep Mar 16, 2023

One of your jobs as a preacher is to teach your listeners how to live out the truths you preach from Scripture.

Preaching, of necessity, requires application. We’re preaching for life-change. We’re preaching to make the written word become the living word in people’s daily lives.

But the application part of the sermon is often the most difficult to execute well. I once listened to a sermon where the preacher concluded with a list of 13 ways to apply the message. Thirteen ways! Most people struggle to remember thirteen different truths from one sermon, much less apply them. He was well-meaning, but the buckshot approach just doesn’t work.

With that said, drilling down on just one application seems too narrow. You have a varied audience with varied needs. The text has one meaning, and hopefully your message can be summed up in one big idea, but the way the text can be applied to someone’s life is innumerable. You can’t list every possible way it...

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3 MASSIVELY Encouraging Church Trends (That I observed at Exponential 2023)

church leadership Mar 13, 2023

This week I attended the Exponential Conference in Orlando, FL. This is one of the largest church leadership conferences in the world with over 5,000 pastors and church leaders in attendance.

I observed some trends in the capital 'C' church that I found to be incredibly encouraging.

In this episode, I'm going to share those three observations with you and what we, as church leaders, can learn from them and apply to our own contexts.

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