Preaching Articles

I realize that we pastors are going way beyond motivational speaking in our sermons. We are sharing the gospel and leading people to the cross. But we are still speakers and communicators nonetheless, and our effectiveness and influence depend on our understanding something about the nature of speaking.

Seth Godin, a marketing guru with much to teach the church, wrote about speaking and had this to say:

Speaking in public: two errors that lead to fear…

1. You believe that you are being actively judged.

2. You believe that the subject of the talk is you.

When you stand up to give a speech, there’s a temptation to believe that the audience is actually interested in you.

This just isn’t true. (Or if it is, it doesn’t benefit you to think that it is.)

You are not being judged; the value of what you are bringing to the audience is being judged.

And he goes on to say:

The members of the audience are interested in themselves. The audience wants to know what they can use, what they can learn, or at the very least, how they can be entertained.

This is truth. Seth is wise. Obviously, we are called to do more than simply please an audience. We are heralds of truth. But understanding what people are expecting or searching for when they sit down to listen to us certainly helps us communicate truth in a way that taps into the audience’s interest.

I agree with Seth. Preaching isn’t about you, so stop focusing on being the star, the celebrity, the eloquent master communicator out to impress your hearers. Instead, focus on the power of the gospel content to change lives now and for eternity.

The next time you preach, just before speaking, pray something like this:

God, help me to glorify You, honor Your truth, and speak with the confidence that what I have to say matters. And help me to love these people enough to give them what I know they need —Your Word.

SermonCentral is the world's leader in sermon resources and research. We are dedicated to equipping pastors worldwide for excellence in preaching.

Browse All

Related Preaching Articles

Talk about it...

Lafern Cobb

commented on Jan 16, 2014

I am 61 years old and have been in the ministry for over 30 years....oh the changes I have seen. There were never "Lead Pastors" "Head Pastors" "Senior Pastors" or any such titles when I started out as a young women. There weren't even many "Reverends" or "Bishops." We were simply Pastors. Servants and Shepherds for Jesus Christ who is our leader, our head and most certainly our senior in all sadly while this is a good article, it is most certainly true that it is about the preacher....hopefully someday we can all just be Brothers and Sisters laboring together to "lead" men and women to Jesus Christ......

Karl Frank

commented on Jan 16, 2014

What Holy Bible verse ever mentions, or insinuates, preaching is to "please the audience" ? Many times in the word of G_d, there are times Jesus preached and some believed and some did NOT. Im my humble opinion, if one is going to preach, as the Word states, preach the Word, .and the Word ONLY

Kevin Brown

commented on Jan 16, 2014

?For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your s servants for Jesus? sake. ?For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 cor 4:5-6 While it is true the message we preach is Christ Jesus, if preached biblically it is not devoid of the preacher. Notice it says and ourselves. The preacher is a gift that God gives to a community and can never divorce himself from the message. For God has place something in him that enables the truth to be known. Earlier in the chapter he speaks about the sacrifice made to be a preacher an later he speaks of God's power in us that helps us keep thing in proper prospective. The is not only part of the message, he is neccesary for Christ to be known. Kevin

Jim Allis

commented on Jan 16, 2014

Romans 1:16: "The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe." The power of God's Word is to be believed and the seeking of The Holy Spirit to take that Word and make it live while it is preached are so vital to be known and that prayer before during and after is vital to that word finding a lodging place and to transform the hearers. It is God's Word to make it effective. We as preachers are to take no glory to ourselves but be transmitters for Christ and trust God for the power to make His Word live.

Edwin Crozier

commented on Jan 16, 2014

Thanks for the reminder.

Nom De Plume

commented on Jan 18, 2014

It would seem the sole focus for the preacher, while giving the message, would be clarity and specificity.

Join the discussion