Summary: Preaching seminar taken from Eccl 12:9

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Ask most pastors today if they are good preachers and most will say that they are better than average. In fact, 90% of pastors surveyed ranked themselves as great preachers. There is always the temptation to overestimate our preaching. Every preacher is someone’s favorite! Today I want to talk about a few simple things that can help you to be a better preacher.

Preaching has a huge influence. Your 30 minutes of un-interrupted communication can be greatly used by God to build up the lives of people. Because of this, preaching is a huge responsibility. As it says in James 3:1 - “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly”.

The major goal of preaching is not to make people like you or to entertain them. It is not to show off your education or even to give biblical content. The goal of preaching is to produce life change. It is not information but transformation. We want people to leave the service different then when they first came in.

Eccl 12:9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but also he imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true. 11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails -- given by one Shepherd.

1. Knowledge is not enough – he imparted knowledge

Knowing the truth is not enough. You can understand a passage of scripture but that is not enough. You must also be able to communicate that truth in a way that others will understand. The issue is not if YOU know it but whether you can communicate it so that OTHERS will know it as well.

Preaching starts with selecting a passage that you feel God wants to communicate to the church. You don’t base your decision on what YOU think is important or simply the stories YOU like. You must put yourself in the place of the people you are preaching to and then seek God’s help in choosing the passage that the people need to hear.

2. Preparing to communicate is hard work – he pondered and searched out

The teacher here did the work of first letting the text speak to him. The word for PONDER is AWZAN which means broaden the ear with the hand. In other words, he LISTENED. The word used for SEARCHED OUT is KHAWAR which means to PENETRATE. Before he began to organize his teaching he first took the time to listen and to allow the text to penetrate his heart and mind.

This is a critical step in the preparation of your message. Once you have chosen the text you need to take time and let the passage of scripture speak to you. At this point you do not want to be doing any research. You need to simply read the text over and over again until you really feel you have a grasp of what the passage is trying to say.

3. Organize your message – he set in order many proverbs

The word used here for SET IN ORDER means to STRAIGHTEN. Once you feel that you have a good understanding of what the text is trying to say then you need to try and break the passage down into bite sized chunks or points.

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