Posted in Preparing to Preach

When You’re the Guest Preacher

From time to time, you will be asked to fill the pulpit at another church. Or, you will be asked to speak at an event outside the normal Sunday morning setting—revivals, chapel services, school assemblies, Sunday night fill-ins, etc. These are some of my favorite times to preach. Because these events are usually “outside the norm” of Sunday morning, there is a unique energy in the room. Also, I have learned that people tend to listen better if there is a voice they aren’t used to hearing (which, by the way, is a good lesson for all preachers to remember....

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Preacher, Cut Yourself Some Slack!

It is amazing to me who approaches Jesus about fasting in Matthew 9. It’s not a Pharisee. Not a scribe. Not a random person off the street. But some of John’s disciples. John as in “John the Baptist.” Yeah, that John the Baptist. The same John who was Jesus’ cousin. The same John who leaped in his mom’s womb when he heard Jesus’ mom talk. The same John who preached Jesus’ coming and declared His arrival. The same John who baptized Jesus. The same John who saw the Spirit descend on Jesus. The same John who heard God speak from...

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The Sermon in a Sentence?

Should the preacher be able to say his entire sermon in one sentence?  Opinions vary.  On the one hand, I’ve heard proponents argue, “If you can’t say it in a sentence, you can’t say it in a sermon.”  On the other, however, I’ve heard opponents suggest, “If you can say it in a sentence, why do you need to preach an entire sermon?”

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6 Tips to Internalize the Sermon

One of my biggest fears in preaching is standing before the people on a Sunday morning and not knowing what I am going to say. I have been preaching on a weekly basis for 16 years. I am guesstimating that I have preached anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 sermons. I still get horrified that I am going to forget my next point, go blank on a line I want to communicate, or freeze on the sermon entirely. It hasn’t happened yet.…but I fear it could at any time on any Sunday morning. I also am adamant about eye contact. I...

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What Should I Preach Next? 5 Questions to Ask

Full disclosure: I am not the best person to help you figure out what to preach next. One, I am not very good at it. Two, I don’t know your people nor the needs of your church. Ideally, you would have planned out your preaching well enough in advance to the point that you aren’t stressed about what’s next. But even in ideal situations, there will be times when you will be faced with the task of coming up with a new series of messages or at least a “stand alone” sermon. How does the preacher decide what to preach...

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5 Proven Ways To Make Funeral Sermons Personal

Pastors, let’s be honest. Church members, nor their loved ones, ever die at a convenient time. Sunday is always coming. Staff meetings are always scheduled. Appointments are on the calendar. Our children’s ball games and practices happen ’round the clock. Funerals don’t happen every week, but they seem to happen during the craziest of weeks. Am I right? But let’s also be honest about something else. Before, during, and after a funeral are when we have opportunities to be MOST pastoral. We won’t find a more ideal time when people we serve are leaning into the things of God than...

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My Story (The Preaching Version)

God has called me to preach to church people—those church people who think they know the God of the Bible but, honestly, haven’t really encountered Him yet. They love a good sermon and teach a good Sunday School lesson, but rarely get blown away with the biblical God. I am called by God to change that. Several events in my life brought me to this.

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How Long Should a Sermon Be?

As you probably already know, there are as many opinions about this as there are belly buttons. Everybody has one. Every preacher and every person sitting in the pews. My opinion? A good sermon should last 24 minutes and 38 seconds. Just kidding. I am not going to try to give a definitive time frame here. The fact is, I have been captivated by preachers who have preached close to an hour, and I have been transformed by a sermon that was 15 minutes. The opposite is also true. My soul has left a worship service hungry due to the...

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Should I Use Sunday’s Text For My Personal Devotions?

The preacher is constantly in the Word thinking about the upcoming sermon. Sundays come fast and the preacher has to be ready with “a word.” Mike Glenn says, “Sunday comes every 3 days.” It definitely seems that way. Because we preachers are always thinking about Sunday and due to the time crunch, it is tempting to use the text we are preaching for our own personal devotions. I don’t believe this is smart. Here’s why:  Personal Devotions are Personal. Sermons are for Congregations.

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