Preaching Articles

I am always asked why I park my car in backward, and the answer is simple. I know that at some point I will be leaving, so I begin with the “end” in mind.

What’s the desired “end” of your preaching?

A consultant once asked our leadership team what the desired “end” of each Sunday service should be. I shouted, “Evangelism.” She said, “Wrong!” Another person said, “Teaching.” She said, “Wrong!” Worship? Fellowship? Ministry? Service? “Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!”

She paused and said, “To bring people into an ‘experience’ with God.”

People do not need information as much as an “experience” with a Person. The gospel is not only a list of propositional truths but a Person, and in the end, preaching must lead to an “experience” with that Person. 

Therefore, let me share with you a simple three-step process that might help your preaching achieve that “end.” 

First, you must pray that you “experience” God in your sermon preparation. While writing a novel, I was once told that authors write non-fiction, but fictional characters come alive and write their own story. If you do not have a powerful God-experience in your sermon preparation, it is likely that your congregation won’t experience Him in your sermon delivery. 

And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of humanwisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Cor 2:4-5)

We must wait while we prepare, pray while we study, listen while we write and cry out for His message. Just as fictional characters move the pen as you write, God must move your heart as you prepare.

Secondly, you must prayerfully exegete your audience. It is far too easy to see a room full of “I love Jesus” smiles and think that everyone is fine. The more informed your burden for the people is, the more genuine your passion will be. The better you understand the torture of someone’s prison, the harder you will try to get them out.

A few testimonies and prayer requests will intelligently attach your heart to your congregation’s plight. You need to ask, “How different is your worldview from theirs? How will they react to your clothes? Physical appearance? Will they understand your Christianese version of English?”

Finally, during your final preparation and the delivery, prayerfully merge your God-encounter with your people-burden. Ask God for one-liners, insight into how to apply Scripture specifically to your audience. Practice talking to the congregation. Begin pleading with and for their souls. Ask God to consume every fiber of your physical, emotional and spiritual being with His message.

If you do these things, you should wake up on gameday with your spiritual engine running. Rivers of living water should be pressing against your heart, anxiously waiting for you to preach. Then all you have to do is step into the pulpit and surrender yourself to your delivery.



Miles McPherson is the senior pastor of the Rock Church San Diego, the author of the new book “God in the Mirror” and a former defensive back for the San Diego Chargers. Experience a daily minute-long dose of encouragement, a challenging and thought provoking message from Miles—learn how at MilesaMinute.com.

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Nom De Plume

commented on Jan 18, 2014

I was unfamiliar with "sermoncentral.com" and thought I'd read an article. I'm not sure what I expected, exactly, but was hoping to find some meaningful (i.e. biblical) principals and guidelines for preaching. Instead, I was greatly disappointed with the content of this article. Instead of listening to a "consultant" , the church leadership should have consulted the apostle Paul, the apostle Peter and Jesus Christ, as revealed in the New Testament.

Andrew Moreno

commented on Jan 20, 2014

Nom De Plume or should I say Mr. or Mrs. Pseudonym Sadly you missed the point.

Nom De Plume

commented on Jan 22, 2014

Perhaps I have. How so?

Nom De Plume

commented on Jan 18, 2014

I was unfamiliar with "sermoncentral.com" and thought I'd read an article. I'm not sure what I expected, exactly, but was hoping to find some meaningful (i.e. biblical) principals and guidelines for preaching. Instead, I was greatly disappointed with the content of this article. Instead of listening to a "consultant" , the church leadership should have consulted the apostle Paul, the apostle Peter and Jesus Christ, as revealed in the New Testament.

Ron Tuit

commented on Jan 18, 2014

Romans 11: 33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God ! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways ! 34 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR ? 35 Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN ? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen." The end of our preaching as well as our living should always bring Glory to the One who deserves the glory.

Anonymous

commented on Jan 20, 2014

Lovely write up. God bless.

Jerry Tanner

commented on Jan 20, 2014

Refreshing reminder. Thank you for your observations.

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