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Preaching Articles

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!)

Dr. Macchia is Professor of Theology at Vanguard University. He teaches courses in Theology and Church History in both the graduate and undergraduate programs. He is past president of the Society for Pentecostal Studies and was the Editor of PNEUMA: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies for more than a decade. He is a prolific writer. 

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Dr. Catherine Pink

commented on Jan 7, 2014

Dr. Macchia, I wrote a book, and would like to know if I could email you a copy to look over for me before publishing it? The book is a little over 90 pages, very short.

Chris Surber

commented on Jan 7, 2014

That's a pretty big request from somebody who doesn't have his email address ... lol

Chris Surber

commented on Jan 7, 2014

All good thoughts. And he really got right to the point too ;)

Troy Heald

commented on Jan 7, 2014

Frank, good points to always consider. Sticking to the text (which is what God provided us as the only tool) is the best thing we can do. Getting lost in anything else is our own work and pales greatly (and fails greatly) in comparison.

Jeff Eppinette

commented on Jan 8, 2014

All are very good points, and I'm glad he had the courage to make the 10th point. There are too many people in ministry who assert that the scriptures speak adequately for themselves. If this was the case, there would be little need for preachers and less need for teachers in the five-fold ministry, people could get most everything they need from simply reading the Word. Point #10 is true. Jesus showed the art of teaching and preaching with his use of similes, metaphors, parables, stories and humor. Very good article, Doc!

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