Charles Spurgeon is arguably one of the greatest preachers in the history of Christianity.
- He preached over 600 sermons before the age of 20.
- The collection of his recorded sermons fills 63 volumes and over 20 million words, making it the largest collection of books by a single Christian author.
- He once spoke to an audience of 23,654 without the use of a microphone or sound system.
- He frequently preached 10 times per week because he accepted so many invitations to speak.1
Spurgeon was so gifted and influential that it’s no wonder he earned the nickname of the “Prince of Preachers.”
It’s safe to say that we could all learn much about preaching from such a prolific preacher.
So here are 12 preaching tips that Charles Spurgeon taught his students:
1. PRAYER IS SERMON PREP
Nothing prepares you to preach more than prayer.
“Prayer will singularly assist you in the delivery of your sermon; in fact, nothing can so gloriously fit you to preach as descending fresh from the mount of communion with God to speak with men. None are so able to plead with men as those who have been wrestling with God on their behalf.”2
2. USE STRIKING INTRODUCTIONS
The beginning of your sermon should immediately capture our attention.
“I prefer to make the introduction of my sermon very like that of the town-crier, who rings his bell and cries, ‘Oh, yes! Oh, yes! This is to give notice,’ merely to let people know that he has news for them, and wants them to listen. To do that, the introduction should have something striking in it. It is well to fire a startling shot as the signal gun to clear the decks for action.”3
3. LONG SERMONS ARE A PRODUCT OF SHORT STUDY
It takes a higher level of preparation and discipline to say less.
“Brevity is a virtue within the reach of all of us; do not let us lose the opportunity of gaining the credit which it brings. If you ask me how you may shorten your sermons, I should say, study them better. Spend more time in the study that you may need less in the pulpit. We are generally longest when we have least to say.”4
4. VARY YOUR VOICE
Nobody wants to listen to a monotone preacher.
“What a pity that a man who from his heart delivered doctrines of undoubted value, in language the most appropriate, should commit ministerial suicide by harping on one string, when the Lord had given him an instrument of many strings to play upon! Alas! alas! for that dreary voice, it hummed and hummed like a mill-wheel to the same unmusical turn, whether its owner spake of heaven or hell, eternal life or everlasting wrath.