Preaching God's Word at any time and in any context is always a great privilege and, at the same time, a great responsibility. All of us desire to speak by revelation, to believe for impartation (not just information), and to aim for transformation, as well as a demonstration of the Holy Spirit at work in people's lives. Here are a few thoughts to encourage those who are preparing to speak this weekend.
1. Bathe your preparation in prayer. The best thing that you can bring to people is a quickened and alive word from God. Take time to wait on the Lord and hear His voice. Before you speak, allow God to speak to you. After all, it is the Spirit that brings life.
2. Be Christ-centered in your preaching. Don't just talk about topics, even good things like faith, overcoming, generosity, the Bible and church. The Christian life is about a Person not merely a set of beliefs or a system of behaviours. Talk about Jesus. After all, Jesus is God and therefore God is like Jesus.
3. Once you have a sense of conviction about what to speak on, don't doubt or vacillate. Do your preparation, pray, gather your material, then speak confidently. Almost all speakers experience feelings of hesitation near the time they are about to speak. The enemy attacks our mind with thoughts like, "Who are you to speak?" or "This is not going to help anyone" and "Maybe you picked the wrong text or topic."
4. Encourage the people. We live in a world that knocks us around and people come to church to be built up. Paul tells us that the purpose of prophecy is strengthen (build up), encourage (fire up) and comfort (hold up) people (1Cor.14:3). Preaching has the same purpose.
5. Be passionate and enthusiastic (which doesn't have to mean noisy!). Believe in what you are speaking about - that it has the power to change people's lives. Remember that logic alone doesn’t change or move people. Use pictures and stories to move people’s emotions. Never preach a point without painting a picture.
6. Be practical. We need a lot more 'how to' preaching and a lot less 'what to.' All preaching should be aimed at producing life change, which means that people need to know how to apply what they are hearing.
7. Always preach for a response. Challenge people to act on what they have heard and give them an opportunity to do so.
There is nothing more satisfying that knowing that God has used you to bring his word and his heart to people.
Finally, a great promise for us as we preach God's Word this weekend ...
Isaiah 55:10-11. "The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I sent it." NLT
I pray that God will speak through you and cause His Word to have a powerful effect on those who hear it this weekend. Go for it!
P.S. To access some more thoughts on preaching, click here.