OK, preachers out there. My advice for good preaching:
1. No lengthy intros. Get right to the point in a way that grabs the audience.
2. Stay on message. Don’t drift.
3. Can the biography. Talk about the text.
4. Do your homework. Take the time; it’s worth it.
5. Stick to one major text and one central point per sermon. No lengthy multi-point lessons. You’ll end up saying everything and nothing. There may be a place for such a lesson plan, but the sermon is not it.
6. Though some outside references or hint of balance may be called for, stick to the angle of your particular text and let it speak in all of its shocking one-sidedness. Cross-referencing can dull the razor edge of a text.
7. Achieve your balance over time. Don’t just choose texts that appeal to your interest or emphasis.
8. Every text gives a witness in some way to the Good News. Seek with every message to make this gospel clear.
9. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the text or voice difficulty with it. But don’t leave them hanging. Suggest a way through it in faithfulness to the gospel.
10. Preaching is an art. Give them theological substance, but don’t neglect moving rhetoric.
(P.S. And listen to the advice of your spouse!)