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Sermon Sabotage: 10 Ways to Ruin a Message for Teens (or Adults)


As you prepare your next sermon for youth (or adults, for that matter), pause to consider what will be most effective. Maximize your prep time and the power of your Bible-based talks. And watch out for these subtle and not-so-subtle ways to derail a sermon. Make sure they don’t ruin your message!

10 Ways to Ruin a Sermon

Beware these 10 preaching missteps. They can hamper your message and mislead or discourage listeners.

1. Make it about you, not Jesus.

Keep the focus on self, not Savior.

2. Let the Holy Spirit lead you just on the spot.

Ignore His guidance during the week or two before, during your prep time.

3. Forget to use your clutch (also called transitions) as you switch gears.

Just move awkwardly from point to point as you preach.

4. Preach like a Texas steer.

Give a point here, a point there, and a lot of bull in-between.

5. String together random Bible verses to support your outline.

Don’t draw each youth sermon from a strong exposition of God’s Word.

6. Steal your preaching outlines from someone else.

Don’t wrestle through the material on your own.

7. Take 30 minutes to make a 10-minute point.

Try to impress your listeners with long words and sentences.