People are drawn to authenticity. This is especially true with preaching. I highly encourage you to be yourself and not try to be someone you’re not. We should speak from our heart and let our personality shine through. This will help us build trust with our congregation and make our message more relatable.
Being a good preacher does not mean we all need to be Charles Spurgeon. Each preacher has a personality that they bring to the message. We really learn to hit our stride in preaching when we find our own voice in the pulpit. There is no single personality or persona that makes a good preacher. God is glorified by preachers of all different stripes who faithfully preach the Bible.
Richard Baxter once wrote to pastors: “that which is most on your hearts, is like to be most in their ears.” Passion is contagious, especially in preaching. When we are passionate about the message we are delivering, people are more likely to listen and be moved by what we have to say. However, we should be careful not to let our passion overshadow the sermon. Rather, we should keep our focus on communicating God’s truth in a clear and compelling way.
I love how Spurgeon described a passion for preaching: “I do think that the best preaching of the gospel is when the preacher himself enjoys it, when he himself is heartily in love with it.”
Preaching is dynamic and lively. It responds to the needs of the day with eternal truth and wisdom. This is a task that God does not expect us to accomplish alone, but it is hard nonetheless. This is why personal prayer and dependence on the Spirit are both vital as we prepare. Being attuned to the burdens our congregation brings into the sanctuary and adapting our message as needed is not easy work, but it is important work for shepherds of God’s flock.
Remember, though, it is ultimately God’s word that transforms lives. Preaching is simply a means of communicating that message to others. May we all strive to communicate God’s truth in a way that is biblically faithful, relevant, and compelling.
1James C. Humes, The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill: A Treasury of More than 1,000 Quotations and Anecdotes (New York: Harper Collins e-books, 1994), 2222 of 3375, Kindle.