No one looks back at their first sermon and says, “That was the best one ever. It’s only been downhill since then.”
Like most pursuits in life, we get better at preaching the more we preach. While preaching is a gift and some are certainly more gifted than others; the harder you work at it, the better you’ll be. Working on your preaching ability is as important as your weekly sermon preparation.
Every week I spend time reading about preaching, public speaking, writing, marketing, sales and even stand-up comedy. These disciplines all share commonalities with the weekly sermon and I have discovered one can learn much by listening to what others are doing. Below are a few links I have found helpful. Perhaps you will also:
How To Prepare A Sermon Well
This is a collection of a few preacher’s “best practices” for sermon preparation. Each pastor walks through the week and highlights his sermon prep practices for each day. Those who struggle to develop regular habits and discipline may find these lists particularly helpful.
(A few marketing links are sprinkled throughout, so be aware you may end up getting pitched the latest and greatest preaching software if you click too much)
Kevin Myers’ Sermon Preparation Tools
Kevin Myers is the senior pastor of 12Stone Church, one of the largest churches in the U.S. and the nation‘s fastest growing in 2010. In 2003, he created these resources for a Pastor’s Coach Article on www.DanReiland.com.
Many have asked for copies since it was published. When it was originally written, 12Stone had one campus and 3 services on a weekend (Sunday at 9am, 11am, and 6pm). As of 2014 we have 5 services (Saturday 6pm, Sunday 9am, 11am, 1pm, and 6pm) and we simulcast to the other 3 campuses. These thoughts are even more applicable now as when they were written.
Check out Kevin on twitter @KevinMyerspk.
4 Speaking Mistakes That Could Jeopardize Your Career
No matter the audience, presenting yourself as a polished professional is essential for long-term credibility and ongoing impact. The same verbal tics that are inconsequential in everyday conversation take on new significance in a preaching setting. This article highlights a few of the most debilitating speaking habits to be on the lookout for.
While this article is primarily targeted at public speakers, the advice offered is solid for all preachers. Those of us who have been given the most important message ever must be very careful not to damage the message because we didn’t work hard to present it well.
Ken Sterling is the author. You can see him on twitter @Ken_Sterling.