As preachers we must guard against a prideful spirit. It is a trap that can destroy our effectiveness and our ministries. But we need confidence in order to boldly proclaim God’s word. A tension exists between pride and confidence.
Most of us would say that being confident in our abilities is generally good, but being prideful in ourselves can be detrimental. We know that the Scriptures contain harsh warnings against pride. You can be a confident person without being prideful, but it often seems like a fine line.
A closely related character trait to pride and confidence is fear. Fear can be a huge inhibitor. Most of us bounce back and forth between pride and fear. Sometimes we’re prideful of our accomplishments looking for others to notice how awesome we are and validate us. Other times we are insecure in our abilities and fearful of what other people might think.
Thus there is an ongoing struggle for what motivates our preaching. We must be motivated by the right...
There are few things more vulnerable than preaching. If you do it right, it is a moment when you bare your soul for the world to see. So it makes sense that you wonder what people think of your preaching.
You want to know if your sermon worked. Sometimes you just want someone to tell you that you did great so you don’t feel as awful about your mediocre sermon (we’ve all been there).
Most of us walk away from a sermon we’ve preached with this resounding thought: Validate me, tell me how great my sermon was because I need to feel worthy as a person!
Categorically positive feedback is acceptable from your mom or your spouse. Everyone needs someone cheering them on.
But you have to pursue more meaningful feedback from others if you want to get better. You should seek feedback that actually makes a difference. You want the kind that tells you if your sermons are doing what they’re supposed to do – making an impact.
But most people don’t give this kind...
The days leading up to a sermon can be very stressful for a preacher.
Your sermon content is on your mind constantly. The responsibility of preparing a sermon can be daunting because when Sunday comes you have to deliver.
This is why you need a plan, a guide, a schedule to keep you on track. In this episode, we'll explore the reasons you could benefit from a schedule and how to create one!
Some preachers alliterate their outlines making all their points begin with the same letter.
Sometimes just the main points are alliterated, other times the sub-points are alliterated, still other times the sub-sub-points are alliterated.
At one point it was taught as a great way to organize your message and really get your listeners to remember. To make it stick, alliterate! was the mantra.
But we don’t see as much alliteration anymore - at least not to the extent it was happening in the 90s and 00s. But does it make a difference? Alliterate or not, does it matter?
We'll explore the wonderful wacky weird world of alliterated outlines in this video.
For your sermons to be most effective you should have moments of great intensity balanced with moments of relief.
I once preached a sermon on how to change. The sermon was intense because it dealt with the fallen human condition. I talked about addiction, abuse, pain, hang-ups, hurts and everything in between. The general feel of the sermon was intense. It was heavy. When I finished preaching the first of two services that day I could not shake the feeling that the sermon needed some relief. It was too heavy. It was overwhelming in a way that wasn’t productive.
You might be thinking, Wait! Heaviness is good. Intensity is good. People need their toes stepped on! That’s just the Holy Spirit working on them! I don’t deny that some intensity is needed. I don’t deny that God can use the heaviness to move people. And I understand the power of his Word to cut through hard hearts and break down barriers.
But we are communicating with human beings who need to process...
Pauses are great. They can add emphasis and give more weight to your point. A well-placed pause is a powerful public speaking tool that you should know how to use.
But the wonderful effect of a pause is destroyed by a terrible public speaking mistake preachers make: the audible pause. What’s an audible pause?
Well, um, it’s uh, um, I think it’s uh… (Sorry, just had to do that).
An audible pause is when you fill in the gaps of your speech with throw away words like “um” “uh” “you know” “like” and others.
These throw away words are a huge distraction, and every public speaker must deal with them if they are going to stand out.
Rooting out these words is way easier said than done, but in this episode we'll discuss what you can do to reduce and eventually eliminate these words from your sermons and speech in general.
As a preacher, it’s easy to focus on your content and not really consider if your listeners are ready to hear it.
You’ve been studying your material all week, and you’re totally energized by it. It’s all you’ve thought about for days. You are so excited to finally share these thoughts that are bursting out of you.
But your listeners aren’t there yet. They walked into church with everything on their minds except your sermon. They have nowhere near the same level of enthusiasm about your topic that you have.
That’s the way it works. You care. They probably don’t.
So what can you do?
The answer is simple: build tension.
You have to make your listeners care about what you're going to say next. You have to make the want and need to hear the rest of your message. Tension is how you do that, and in this episode we'll dive into how!
The best sermons are conversations.
This may seem counterintuitive given that sermons are monologues - you're the only one talking. But in conversational preaching, you give the listener a voice by raising their questions, concerns, doubts, or skepticism.
If done well, you can make each person feel as if you are having a conversation just with them. Like they’re the only person in the room. Like you’re sitting at a table with with them and discussing a problem, a concern, a big thing God wants them to do.
But the question is, "How"? How can you preach in a way that is conversational and gives your listeners a voice? I'll explain my three-step process in this episode.
I've served on staff at multi-site churches as well as single-site churches. There are unique challenges and approaches to leading a church with more than one campus.
When it comes to multi-site ministry, there are basically two approaches:
1) Video preaching at the campuses with one live communicator at a "main" campus; or
2) In-person preaching at each campus.
But now there seems to be a third option: Holographic teaching. What? Yes, you read that right. At least one pastor is trying it and we'll look into it in this episode.
Is it a good idea? Is it over the top and excessive? We'll dive into those questions in the episode.
This week as I was preparing my message for this Sunday, something hit me.
It would be so easy to preach this text completely detached from it personally.
Hear me out, in any sermon, it would be so easy to stand up, teach through a text, boldly proclaim its claims and call people to obey it - all the while remaining completely unmoved by it myself!
Unfortunately, this is all too common. I want to propose a better way - especially for those times when you study a passage and realize you're not living up to it yourself - but Sunday's still coming!
We'll dive into all of it in this episode of the podcast!