Preaching is a skill which must be cultivated

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

a-great-sermon-isnt-an-accident-300x300.jpgKevin 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.

 

Other People Have Great Ideas Too!

Proverbs 11:14 explains there is victory in a multitude of advisers. Because I want to be a better preacher, I am always seeking advice from a multitude of advisers. My counselors are not just other preachers I know, but many preachers I don’t know. I even seek advice from those who are not preachers, because they have great ideas for me also. Here are three pieces of preaching advice I’ve recently stumbled upon.

HOW TO PREACH WITHOUT NOTES.

Preaching without notes isn’t for everyone. The great benefit is more eye-contact which leads to a stronger connection with your congregation. The great danger is losing your train of thought, wandering off track and/or accidentally repeating yourself. I preach mostly without notes. I try to stay away from them, but they are up there with me just in case.

This blog was originally posted by the Rev. Dan Turis ’12, pastor of Colonial Church of Bayside in New York, on his site: http://danturis.com/. You can also follow him on Twitter @dturis.

5 WAYS TO MAKE SERMON STUDY MORE PRODUCTIVE

The time spent in prayer and study for messages is probably a pastor’s greatest challenge. There are just so many pastoral responsibilities that arise during a given week that time for sermon preparation must be guarded…and maximized. Here are five tips to help to you make your study time more productive for your congregation.

Paul Chappell is the pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church in Lancaster, California, and also serves as the president of West Coast Baptist College. Follow him on Twitter @PaulChappell.

MASTER THE ART OF STORY TELLING…

We can learn about the art of preaching from those who specialize in similar fields. Inspirational speakers, story tellers, writers and even comedians can teach us important lessons about communication.

People relate easily (and emotionally) to stories, and they remember them. Stories make facts more digestible and, in telling them, you, as a speaker, appear more human, more approachable and more audience friendly. The best speakers reach into their bag of stories and bring their presentations to life.

Emma Ledden is the author of The Presentation Book. She shares great advice for presenters and those who create presentation slides. Follow her @EmmaLedden