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Improve Your Preaching in 5 Easy Steps Right Now

Every preacher I know wants to get better; we are all clawing forward amid the windstorm of our own inability.

In this, I don’t pretend to be an expert, but I do have the sand in my face. I’m with you trying to get there.

In this post, I want to talk about a few items that you can do in the delivery of the sermon that I have found to help. Let’s call them 5 friends that you want to invite to every one of your sermons.

1. Word Pictures

Do you want to liven up your sermon? Hang up some pictures. Paint some rooms. Open a window.

Sermons should not smell like an old musty closet; you need some air, some life, and some color in it. This whole world is stamped with God’s creative seal; therefore, find how it illustrates, elucidates, or further communicates your point and go and get it.

If you want more help on this, read Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. You could also read Thomas Watson; my man was a homiletical artist. I also found this book helpful.

Fill your sermon with word pictures.

2. Interrogatives

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We too often forget that the sermon is a conversation. No, we are not audibly dialoging back and forth, but we are at our best when we are homiletically talking backing forth.

If the sermon is simply the giving of information, then interaction will be limited. It will be like getting a tour through an old museum. Instead, we want to engage our listeners.

One of the best ways to do this is to ask questions. You might ask, “What does a lack of prayer say about your view of yourself?” This crucial step makes the person actually answer in their minds.

You could just say, “A lack of prayer indicates that you believe that you are self-sufficient.” However, that crucial step repeated dozens of times during the sermon helps to keep people tracking and finding the answers in the Bible.

Fill your sermon with questions.

3. The “2nd Person Plural” 

This goes along with the previous point; you have got to engage people. If your sermon is propositional (and it must be), then it must call them to believe something, address something, or do something.

Mixing in some 2nd person “You!” is very helpful.

Of course, that could go overboard so you want to mix it up. I have found Mark Dever to be a very helpful example of this. He has a ton of phrases that he uses, such as: friend, brother, sister, you, we, church, single person, married person, Christian, men, women, children, etc.

Thoughtfulness here will only help you hit the mark.