ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, December 15   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Peter Mead
 

Personalize your preaching

True biblical preaching is not primarily about outlines. It is about heart-to-heart communication.

BIBLICAL PREACHING AUTHOR Peter Mead 05 AUGUST 2019 11:05 h GMT+1
Photo: Pixabay (CC0)

Preaching is person to person, so surely it should be personalized?  But if we are not careful our preaching can feel impersonal and distant. 



We can learn how to prepare a sermon, then treat the process like a machine for generating messages – put in a text at one end, turn the handle, and out pops a three point outline ready for Sunday.



True biblical preaching is not primarily about outlines. It is about heart-to-heart communication. Ultimately it is God’s heart to our listeners’ hearts, but our heart is in the circuit too. 



So how can we make sure our preaching feels personal when you stand to deliver this Sunday?



1. Make sure your study of the biblical text touches your heart.  Newcomers to preaching may think sermons are texts and ideas squeezed into outlines, but actually we need to be studying the text to understand it. 



When we study it, we have to make sure our hearts are engaged and not just our heads. This passage was put there by God to impact readers spiritually – how is it impacting me? 



I need to be talking to God about that and not just looking for a sermon that will preach. In fact, here are a few quick sub-points relating to this phase of preparation:



A. Ask God to help you understand what the text was intended to communicate to the original recipients – what was the spiritual impact supposed to be back then?



B. Ask God to help you understand what the text was intended to communicate to readers like you – it is part of a bigger whole that all points receptive hearts toward Him.



C. Ask God to convict you of sin, to motivate you for service, to make your heart beat with His and to stir you to worship as you spend time in the text.



 



2. Pray for God to give you His heart for the hearers as you prepare the message.  Before you start to shape your study into a sermon, come before God in prayer and really intercede for your hearers. 



Whether it will be your home congregation or a group you have never preached to before, God knows and loves them better than you do. Ask Him to give you His heart for them. 



Don’t just pray for the message to “go well,” but pray for them as real people, in real situations, facing real difficulties. 



Pray for those who are not His yet, and those that are. Pray for His heart for them, and for their hearts to be ready to hear from Him.



 



3. Prepare a message that will give your best, vulnerably.  Actually this is two points. 



First, preach your own message.  Don’t steal someone else’s sermon and preach it.  That is a shortcut that wastes time in the long run. 



When you steal sermons you don’t get the benefit of the study, and they don’t get the benefit of hearing from you … instead they hear a poor version of someone else’s message. 



If you choose to use a point or a quote, that is fine, just say that “someone put it this way…” and use it, but make sure you are preaching when you preach. 



By faith you can trust God that your moderate ability will be better suited to these listeners than someone else’s impressive message.



Second, prepare to preach with vulnerability.  Let the you shine through.  There is no benefit to hiding behind your exegesis and presentation.  People need to know that you also struggle, that this moves you, that you are a real human. 



Obviously you should think through what you will be saying. It isn’t helpful to vent your anger or share a struggle that is too raw.  It also isn’t helpful to overstate your struggle or to share something that will distract or undermine your credibility. 



But there is plenty of real you to share as you preach. Plan to preach your own stuff, and plan so that it is really you that is preaching.



4. Grow in your ability to deliver sermons naturally. We no longer live in an age of voice projection and concert hall oratory.  We live in a time when people value authentic, genuine, relational communication. 



Some are taught to preach dispassionately, thereby avoiding emotionalism and manipulation with the opposite poison of disconnection (and a different form of intellectual manipulation at times). 



Don’t be arms length from your material, preach from the heart and through your genuine personality. If you are quiet, that is fine.  If you are out-going and enthusiastic, that can work too. 



What matters is not the personality you portray, but that it is your personality as you preach. As I often say when teaching preaching, it takes work to be natural in such an unnatural setting. Do the work so that people can hear from you.



There is more that could be added, but that is four ways to try to inject the personal into your preaching.  What would you add?



Peter Mead is mentor at Cor Deo and author of several books. This article first appeared on his blog Biblical Preaching.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - Personalize your preaching
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Min19: Childhood, family and the church Min19: Childhood, family and the church

The first evangelical congress on childhood and family was held in Madrid. Pictures of the event, November 1-2.

 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
VIDEO Video
 
World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly highlights World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly highlights

The World Evangelical Alliance's General Assembly 2019 in Jakarta, Indonesia, brought together 800 evangelicals from 92 countries to pray, worship and cast vision for the new decade of holistic discipleship.

 
What defines a godly leader? What defines a godly leader?

Adrian Reynolds, Associate National Director for the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC), explains how a godly leader should be.

 
Kanye West sings to Jesus with inmates Kanye West sings to Jesus with inmates

The hip-hop artist and his gospel choir performed ‘Jesus Is King’ songs in a Houston prison. Images of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

 
How can we encourage believers to serve Jesus with us? How can we encourage believers to serve Jesus with us?

“It is not just pastors who do ministry. When the saints are doing the ministry too, the Body of Christ is build up and grows towards maturity in the faith”, says Greg Ogden, Chairman Global Discipleship Initiative.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.