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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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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4 Traits of Irresistible Speakers

sermon prep Mar 02, 2023

Years ago my church hosted a conference to encourage and equip our lay leaders and staff.

One of the speakers at the event impacted me with her engaging presentation.

She spoke for nearly an hour training our leaders how to do ministry effectively in our context.

About halfway through her presentation I had filled my page with notes and was eager for more.

I started to think about what made the experience so captivating. Turns out, she had four key traits of irresistible speakers. In this episode, I'll share the four traits with you and show you how you can use each of them in your next sermon.

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16 Ways to Get Un-Stuck in Your Sermon Prep

sermon prep Feb 09, 2023

Do you ever get stuck in a sermon prep rut?

I know I do.

Sometimes the sermon comes together like a beautifully crafted work of art.

But other times I struggle to get any thoughts to come together.

It’s hard to break out of sermon prep stuck-ness, but I’ve learned a few things that help me overcome these stuck times, and I want to share them with you.

In this episode, we cover 16 things you can do this week to get unstuck in your sermon prep.

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4 Must Do's of Sermon Illustrations (To make your message come alive)

sermon prep Feb 02, 2023

As a preacher you want to make your ideas come alive. When you labor preparing a message and perfectly craft your points you’re not thinking, "I’m sure this will be altogether unremarkable, but I’ll give it a try!"

No, you’re thinking, "How can I make them see this and feel it and be changed by it?"

We all want this because, what good is it if you make a great point, but no one feels it? If no one does anything with it?

An effective illustration is the secret sauce that makes your listeners grab onto your ideas on an emotional level. A good illustration will reach out and grab your listeners and pull them into your content. It will make them care.

But how do you use illustrations for the maximum impact? You can have a killer illustration that you misuse and have it fall flat. You can give a great illustration at the wrong time and have it lose its punch. You can have an amazing story that you tell poorly, or an interesting analogy that doesn’t quite...

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