8 Ways to Improve Your Preaching and Teaching

I make no claims to be a preaching and teaching expert, but I’ve been a preacher and seminary professor for more than 20 years. All of us, beginning with me, can improve in communicating the gospel. See if any of these ideas will help you improve: 

  1. Pray every day to be a stronger preacher and teacher. If you don’t pray that way, your silence is a confession that you (a) think you’re good enough already, (b) don’t think you need God’s help, or (c) simply haven’t thought about the importance of praying this way. Any one of these reasons is problematic.
  2. Be godly. We have no reason to expect God to bless our public preaching and teaching if we’re not walking with Him privately.  
  3. Ask for honest feedback. This idea might be the toughest one to implement, but it’s invaluable. Find a few people who will speak honestly with you about your preaching (and then develop some tough skin . . . ).
  4. Do the “3 a.m.” test. I found this idea in Bryan Chapell’s Christ-Centered Preaching. If someone were to ask you at 3 a.m. what your sermon is about, you should be able to give a clear and concise answer – one simple sentence, in my opinion. If you can’t do it, you’re not ready to teach yet.
  5. In many cases, shorten your sermon or lesson. Frankly, not many preachers or teachers are good enough to teach for an hour and hold everyone’s attention. If you can’t cover your material well in 30 minutes, you probably can’t do it well in 60 minutes, either.
  6. Clearly tell your hearers what you want them to know and do after hearing you. Too often, we fail to help our hearers apply the Word. It’s true that the Holy Spirit guides this process, but He can guide us to help others as we teach and preach.
  7. Put “flesh” on your preaching and teaching. Think in terms of how you’d explain and illustrate the Word to people on the mission field. You’d probably explain it simply and show the Word through stories and illustrations. Do it the same way here in North America – where many people are just as ignorant of the Word as an unreached people group.
  8. End your sermon or lesson in a clear, expedient way. If you take forever to end your teaching, your hearers will tune out everything you’ve said in the process. Just land the plane!      

For more ideas about improving your preaching and teaching, click here

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