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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 not Satan.

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 surrendered willingness.

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.