Preaching week after week, year after year is extremely challenging. Doing so with any degree of consistency and excellence is even more challenging.
No preacher is at their best every weekend. Personal matters and church issues can hurt preparation time.
Sometimes, the well just seems dry. There’s no freshness, no zip on the old fastball.
Sometimes, we feel like there’s another gear out there somewhere—we just can’t find it.
Below are five common preaching mistakes we make.
There are obviously more than this, but here is a sampling. I suffer them all at one time or another.
Add to this list or comment on any of these in the comments section.
1. Putting too much or too little of oneself in the message.
Finding the right balance here is difficult and is more art than science. Generally, I limit myself to one personal story, but at least one.
It might be funny, or it might be dead serious. But, it’s important for the church to know the preacher is a real person—and get to know that real person.
In the stories, don’t always be the hero, and don’t always be the goat. The truth is, you are an imperfect person who struggles with the same things they do. Don’t be afraid to let that show some—but always keep the spotlight on Jesus.
One of the best ways to do this is to avoid …
2. Illustrations that have nothing to do with the point at hand.
If you tell a personal story, have a point that matches the message or stash it for later.
If you take them on a potentially boring log ride through the catacombs of exegesis—have a point.
If you tell a joke, have a point. In all things—have a point.
At the end of each point or movement of the sermon, ask, “So what?” or, “What truth am I trying to illustrate here—specifically.”