Over the years, I have heard a lot of sermons; some have been good, others not so much. If you are a preacher, then you, like me, want to get better.
In this post, I’ll take for granted that we understand that no sermon will get off the ground unless it is preaching the Scriptures. If you are not doing this, then anything I write here will not help you.
What follows here are five simple, practical preaching helps. As I study preaching and preachers, these things are present in consistently helpful, good expositions.
1. Drop the Hook.
The hook is a question mark. We too often forget that the sermon is a conversation. We (the preachers) are in a homiletical dialog with our hearers.
Think about a conversation you’ve had recently. Has one person talked for 45 minutes straight? How did that go? Can you imagine that?
Preachers, you have to mix in some questions so that your hearers will have to answer them. Then you show them in the text what the answer is or you reason through the principles to help them get there.
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. I encourage you to drop hooks liberally.
2. Open the Windows.
If you want to improve your preaching, then you need to use word pictures and illustrations. These homiletical tools are like opening windows in a musty basement. They get fresh air in.
Your sermon should not smell or look like grandma’s basement. Open some windows. Hang some nice art (word pictures). Put on some fresh paint (use current events to show the culutral idols, etc).
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.
Open windows in your sermon.