My Preaching Tips
Ideas for Young Preachers
These ideas come from a variety of
sources. Some are from my own preaching experiences. Some are from
other preachers I respect greatly. Some are from my own grandfather,
Rev. Carl Beck, a preacher of 60 years (deceased), whose greatest
lesson to me was "Don't preach about it if you don't know
about it". Some are from a little book he left to me, entitled "A
Handbook for the Preacher At Work".
1) Study. Don't preach about it if you don't know about it. Many
preachers come away looking like a failure because they tried to preach
on a subject they did not know, and without adequate study time. Use
good study materials along with your bible(s). Be sure you have the
full understanding of what you are to preach.
2) The main focus of any and all sermons is to bring people to Christ.
Every sermon should point back to that central theme.
3) No sermon should ever condemn. Remember, God's Word is to be used
"for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness." No where does that list include condemnation. Most
sinners know already that they are guilty. Preach against the sin, but
not the sinner. The sinner is "condemned already", he needs to know how
to fully escape that condemnation.
4) A fellow preacher told me once that when he preached for an hour,
hardly any response would be seen in the invitation. But once, when he
preached only 20 minutes, the altar filled during the invitation. Two
things can be learned: a) a well prepared sermon will get the point
across timely and 2) when you get to the end of your sermon, you ARE
done. Go immediately to the invitation. Don't add anything else. God
gave you what to say. He doesn't need you to add stories or try to
explain it further. As a favorite book I have states "Have something to
say when you get up to preach. Say it, and when you have finished,
close the sermon and let God give the results." I have seen many
preachers kill a good service by lingering too long saying frivolous
stuff that had nothing to do with what God gave them.
5) Don't use multiple illustrations, or past experiences. Don't use
"examples" that might take honor from God. Don't dwell on sensitive
subjects, such as hair, dress, bible versions, song books, types of
music, or past conquests in your ministry. Most sermons that lean
towards those ideals are man made.
6) While your testimony may make a good subject to preach on, once it
has been heard, there is no need for a repeat. Sometimes it is good
enough to simply say "God delivered me from sin, forgave me, and saved
me." A lengthy discourse on your past sin does not glorify God. Your
testimony is a great tool God can use, but usually that is in sharing
it with an individual that is going through same circumstances, or a
small group. There again, make sure you give the most glory to God, and
7) Never preach to "itching ears". Preach only what God gives.
8) Never preach angry. If you are angry about a situation at church,
and you can't put it aside, it may be a good time to invite a guest
speaker. But don't call and invite him by saying "I need you to come
preach because I am mad about...".
9) Remember, you will never please everybody. Some will enjoy your
preaching. Some will hate it. Some will be made miserable by it. Some
will act upon it by making things right with God.
10) When you are finished studying, practice the sermon. Read it. Think
about it. Check to be sure everything you are about to do is what God
wants, and not what you want. God is perfectly capable of using you to
preach what he wants. He doesn't need your help, he needs your
11) When you find you have made a mistake, admit it openly. Scripture
can be mis-interpreted. Mistakes are human, asking for forgiveness and
correcting it when wrong is divine.
12) Keep a record of what you preach.
13) A good shepherd will manage his flock well so that his field will
flourish. The shepherd is the preacher / pastor. The sheep are the
congregation. The field is his church. A good shepherd guides and
directs his sheep, he loves and cares for them, and corrects them
gently. As he does this, his field grows and provides for his sheep and
others tat may come in to the fold. The shepherd that does not do these
things, or only does parts of them, will see his field fail.
14) You may never be called to be a pastor of a church. But, God may
call you to do the work of a pastor to those you come into contact
with, or in the ministry He calls you to. Do the work of a pastor.
Realize that every soul you come in contact with is because of a divine
appointment, and you are responsible to God for them.