Are you a preacher looking to increase your effectiveness at delivering a moving church sermon? Or are you an aspiring preacher or pastor looking to build up the confidence and skills to start encouraging the local church?
If so, there are tons of ways you can improve the effectiveness and deliverability of church sermons. Whether you are delivering in-person sermons or online church sermons, you need to know how to engage your audience. You need to know how to speak to them on their level and reach both their mind and heart with the words you are speaking.
Of course, the best way to get better at preaching is to preach as much as possible. Practice, practice, and practice some more, by yourself and in other small group settings, such as a local life church sermon.
Other than that, there are plenty of tips that experienced pastors use on a weekly basis. Keep reading to discover the five important tips on how to give a good sermon.
1. Plan Your Church Sermon Ahead of Time
Most newbie preachers fall into the trap of planning a sermon in a week, or even less. Some don’t start planning their sermon until a day or two before they deliver the message.
That’s a mistake. Unless you are a veteran preacher, that can give a solid sermon without even having to plan it, you need time to prepare. A lot of time.
Ideally, you should have a month, or even a few months, to plan your sermon. That way, the pressure is off. If you are subject to short time constraints, you are going to force your sermon.
Doing this means you aren’t going to have fresh perspectives or ideas. You will probably just follow basic sermon formatting procedures, giving a run-of-the-mill sermon.
Instead, pray and decide on a theme or single point of focus. Then, just spend time thinking about that every day for a few weeks. Read in the Bible about that topic, and write down any thoughts you have about the subject matter.
Have conversations with others about the topic, both other pastors, as well as Christians who aren’t actively in ministry. Figure out what questions people have about the subject, what struggles people have in that area, and so forth.
The more time you can give yourself to plan a message, the more original and effective it’s going to be.
2. Stay Organized
When it comes to preaching, or any other church-life function, staying organized is critical. In our day in age, it’s easier than ever before thanks to effective technology and software.
If you don’t already use church management software, research and try some different options out. Options such as Icon Church Management make it easy for all areas of your church to stay connected and organized. From finances to member management, this type of software will empower you as a preacher.
When all of these other things are organized, you free up your mind to focus on the preparation of your message. But many pieces of software can also help you craft your message, as well.
You’ll want software that allows you to take notes at a moment’s notice, collecting ideas for your sermon wherever inspiration arises. It also helps when you can research Bible scriptures and stories, along with commonly used illustrations right from your sermon preparation software.
And if it even lets you make slides for use on Sunday morning, that’s even better. While paper and pen have their place, don’t shy away from the technology that would empower you to do a better job.
3. Have One Core Theme
When it comes time to deliver a sermon, many people try to say too much. They have too many different ideas, too many different points to get across, and too much information.
But the most effective sermons are those that focus on one core theme. You should sum up your entire sermon in a single sentence.
If you can’t explain your sermon in a single sentence, it’s too complex. Save the complex teaching for Bible studies or ministry training forums. But for a general sermon, you want one idea.
Then, spend your entire sermon illustrating that idea, fleshing it out, looking at it from different angles and perspectives, and otherwise reinforcing it to encourage the congregation.
4. Practice Public Speaking, Not Memorization
New and young preachers often try to write out sermons, word for word and then memorize them for Sunday morning. Oftentimes, they have to look down at their notes while preaching in order to continue speaking.
But good preaching is not about memorization. It’s about public speaking skills and a solid understanding of the topic you are discussing.
For example, if you were talking to a good friend about why your spouse is awesome, or about your recent vacation, you wouldn’t deliver a canned response, would you? No, you would share out of your experience and understanding of the subject matter.
Likewise, when delivering a sermon, you shouldn’t be talking about a topic you don’t understand and don’t have experience in.
5. Illustrate Well
Every good sermon needs a good illustration. Most sermons need multiple illustrations. These are unrelated stories that convey the message you are trying to share.
A good preacher can pull stores from their own lives to illustrate the points they are making. These are often more effective, as they connect with the congregation on a personal level, since they know, like, and trust the pastor.
If you cannot come up with a personal illustration, there are many ways to find an effective one out in the world. Many websites store databases of illustrations for popular sermon themes so that you can leverage the work of other preachers.
Whatever you do, make sure to use story-based illustrations, as these are often the most powerful way for people to retain information.
It’s Not About You
As you can see, there is a lot that goes into preparing and delivering an effective church sermon. There are many skills to develop and methods of researching and ideating.
It takes many years, even decades, for good preachers to become great. However, remember that ultimately it’s not about you. Your goal is to simply be a messenger of God to his people. Keep your focus on him and them, not on yourself.
Looking for other tips like this? Check out the rest of our blog today to keep reading.