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Preach Like a Pro: How to Raise Your Game

3. Practice fundamentals

This reflects the principle of doing the little things correctly.

Larry Brown used his coaching philosophy, “play the right way,” to lead the unheralded Detroit Pistons to an NBA championship victory over Kobe, Shaq and Phil Jackson.

He succeeded because of his focus on the basics.

Have you slipped out of using your languages, if you learned them? Are you rusty on your systematic and biblical theology? Do you pray throughout your sermon prep?

These are the fundamentals of preaching: what the text means, where it fits in the story of the Bible and the doctrine of the church, and what the Spirit wants to do with it in your heart and the hearts of your congregation.

Or have you found a way to get “results” with a pragmatic approach to preaching?

4. Execute a game plan

In other words, aim to do something, and do it.

While the team’s goal is always to win, their game plan changes from opponent to opponent. The success of the team rides on the ability of each player to execute his role in the game plan.

You need a game plan for every sermon. Preaching is more than just communicating what the text means. The meaning of the text must do something in your hearers. While this something must be in line with the passage, and will be strongly influenced by the passage, it’s the preacher’s responsibility to discern it, and infuse it into his sermon.

The something could be how to apply the passage, a doctrine within the passage to treasure, etc.

For each sermon, I set out to find, through prayer and study, how the passage ought to affect my listeners. Then I include that something in my FCF, proposition and main points with a unifying key word or phrase. This ties the whole sermon together and aims it toward the plan I want to execute.

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Eric McKiddie is a husband, father of three, and Pastor for Gospel Community at Chapel Hill Bible Church in North Carolina. You can follow Eric on Twitter (@ericmckiddie).