We’ve spent the last couple weeks discussing the importance of preaching the Word as well as some sermon prep hacks I’ve discovered that work well for me.
Preaching is an art and a science.
The science is the rules: eye contact, enunciate your words, make your message easy follow, transition well, grab and keep their attention, etc.
The art is how you do all of that.
Without going into a whole lesson on homiletics, here are a couple quick thoughts about the actual art of delivering the message…
Don’t serve your notes; make your notes serve you.
Someone recently told me they were amazed that I had memorized my whole message. I know my message well when I teach, but I don’t memorize it. When she told me that, I showed her my notes to take the mystery out of it, and I took her words as a compliment. My goal is to have enough notes to jog my memory without having so many notes that I lose connection with my audience. If that happens then I am serving my notes, they are not serving me. In over nineteen years of teaching the Bible, I’ve gone from having dozens of pages of scripted, printed out notes to teaching from an iPad with 800 words to teaching from handwritten notes taped into my Bible with just a couple hundred words.
The most important thing is this: your notes have to make sense to you!
Preach the Word!
There are a lot of things you can discuss, but there’s one main thing you must discuss: the Gospel! It’s the whole reason you are a pastor or teacher. If people walk away with interesting Bible facts without any idea of how it connects them to Jesus, you’ve missed the mark. And by the way, every book in the Bible points to Jesus and every message from the Bible can somehow be tied back to Jesus. I’ve taught messages in Song of Solomon and even Joshua’s “hill of foreskins” and had people surrender to Jesus! Everything can somehow point back to Jesus!
Above anything else you do, DO NOT BORE PEOPLE WITH THE WORD OF GOD!
I’ve sat through messages taught from the most exciting, relevant, miraculous Book that bored me to tears. If you can’t teach the Bible with passion and excitement, don’t teach the Bible! The last thing we need is people thinking God’s Word is dry and boring. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to make God’s Word relevant. It is already relevant, just point it out!
Oh, and one more thing…
The loudest sermon you’ll preach is your life.
If you’re not going to live what you’re preaching, don’t bother preaching it.
In fact, if you won’t live it, don’t bother preaching.
DID I MISS SOMETHING?
We’ve covered a lot over the last few months, but maybe I’ve missed a topic you’d like addressed.
Head to the contact page at kevmill.com or simply respond to this email and let me know what you’d like me to write about!
K E V I N • M I L L E R
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