Every preacher wants to be preaching the word with impact.
And while our world tries to drown out the life changing message of the Scriptures, we must not fail to effectively communicate.
Failing to communicate the Good News is not an option.
Here are 3 preaching tips for reaching a post-modern world:
Tip 1: When you don’t know what to preach, ask “What is God saying to our church?”
Jesus said whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. —Matt 10:27
Sometimes it is really difﬁcult to know what to preach in your church. Sometimes the noise in our own heads overwhelms us.
So when you have preacher’s block here’s an excellent question to ask yourself: “What is God saying to our church?”
Are there any recurring themes emerging from your reading, guest speakers, prophetic voices or church members? Now this is not a matter of what your church needs to hear or should hear but a sensitive listening to the Holy Spirit.
When Christ appeared to John on Patmos He had a speciﬁc and unique message for each of the seven churches in the province of Asia. All of these churches had circumstances that were unique to them and Christ delivered a pertinent message for their individual situation.
Likewise there are times when God has a unique and particular message for your church. Just like ﬁrst century leaders we need to have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to our church in this “whatever” world.
Tip 2: When you still don’t know what to preach, ask “What does our church lack?”
There are times when a church lacks a focus on its key values or lacks a variety of diet in the preaching. Avoiding both of these is a fairly simple task.
While planning your annual preaching calendar keep a list of your church’s values handy. Work out what values you want to emphasize during the year ahead while also looking back at the values you have emphasized over the
last couple of years.
Your values can serve as riverbanks for the stream of preaching you deliver to your church thus ensuring that you focus on the majors.
Another way to frame it is to “preach the announcements.” For instance, if you make regular announcements about connect groups you should be preaching on relationships and the value of small groups. Also, when it comes to a variety of diet give some thought to your style of preaching.
Has it been narrative, expository and topical or character based?
Is there enough variety?
If you are only using one or two styles your church will be lacking variety in the diet and possibly be somewhat disengaged so it’s time to mix it up.
Tip 3: Make a preaching calendar
An essential element of effective preaching is preparation and part of preparation is preparing an annual calendar.
The big advantage in having an annual preaching calendar is that it gives you space and time to prepare well in advance. It also sends a message to a “whatever” world that “whatever” is not good enough. We won’t just deliver any old message without thought or preparation.
So if you know you will be doing a series on prayer in June you can be on the lookout for stories and scriptures that will assist you in delivering an effective series. Likewise, if you are going to preach through Mark you can spend time a few months in advance studying Mark and reading various commentaries as part of your devotional life.
Another advantage in the annual preaching calendar is that it allows you to step back and take a long term view of what you are feeding your church. You can strategically plan different series with a focus on different values. It also helps you analyze the various ways you are bringing truth to your church.
For instance, have you focused on a Bible character?
Have you concentrated on a Bible book?
Is your preaching too topical?
Of course an annual preaching calendar helps you when you look back on previous years to ensure you are not feeding your church the same diet year after year.
Your sheep will be far healthier as you move them from paddock to paddock serving a rich diversity of food for their spiritual growth.