Thursday, November 04, 2010

My Rules for Preaching

I was my turn to lead the discussion for today's monthly Preacher's meeting. I had agreed, and was assigned the topic of Preaching and Teaching, as we look at a different element of ministry each month. As I told the guys, talking about preaching to a bunch of preachers is packed with potential problems as every preacher has strong feelings about how and why they do what they do. So, I just decided to start making a list of, what I called, My Rules for Preaching and Teaching. I thought I'd put together ten - a good, solid, and biblical number, but I ended up with twenty, and it would have been more if I had allowed myself to keep doing it.
For the sake of any preaching buddies out there, and the guys who didn't take notes this morning, here is my list - in no special order and certainly not by priority.
1. Never preach anything you haven't first internalized and struggled with personally. Your lesson should be an extension of your private devotional life.
2. Always have a clear and stated objective. I always have a Bottom Line statement - for me - at the top of every lesson.
3. Stay true to your non-negotiables. Mine have always been - every lesson must be biblical, logical, & simple.
4. Represent God, Jesus, and the Word accurately. Never get in the way of people seeing Jesus.
5. Never talk down or condescendingly to your church family.
6. Don't expect huge changes, but guide them toward baby steps. Be patient.
7. Always make it clear that you are on a journey together. It's about "us" not "you".
8. In teaching, remember there are no wrong comments or answers from students. Make it fit, or you'll never get another response.
9. No matter what the point is - explain, illustrate, and apply!
10. Capture attention - don't demand it!
11. Make people think! You don't have to provide ALL the answers.
12. Stay fresh or leave soon!
13. Preach from the overflow not the scraps!
14. You can say anything - if they know you love them and they love you back!
15. Mid-week marvels are better than Saturday night specials!
16. Consider destroying your sermon file regularly - at least ignore it!
17. Be real - be honest - be open!
18. Feed your spirit! Read, go to things, find a mentor!
19. Find a hobby that lets you REALLY get away from church stuff!
20. All the talent and all the admiration of brethren can't replace the power of a vibrant prayer life with God.


Deborah said...

These are so great--very practical!

#19...maybe you should convince Pat to bowhunt...we are working on the "get away from church stuff" with him!

Anonymous said...

When we would leave services both Bob and I would say all the time."Mike really makes you think". We miss that. And we took alot of baby steps...sometimes with bruised toes! THANKS!! SH