10 Preaching Errors Pastors Can Avoid
Ministerial Weekly April 11, 2014
10 Preaching Errors Pastors Can Avoid
10. Abuse repetition. There is repetition for emphasis, and then there is repetition for annoyance. Discern between the two by listening to other preachers. Perhaps you should ask your wife if you over-repeat yourself.
9. Form your own sermon points first, and then find a text to fit your points. Rarely will you find a text to fit your points; instead, in order to make the text fit, you will pluck the text out of context. The text should form your points, instead of you forcing your points onto a text.
8. Be overly animated. Everyone will either enjoy you or be terribly annoyed. If they leave the service thinking about you, regardless of whether it’s positive or negative, your sermon failed. Remember that the goal of preaching is to excellently allow the Word of God to stand on its own. So don’t be a distraction.
7. Bore your audience. Do not talk in a monotone voice. The goal is to allow the Word to stand on its own, not to make the most wonderful book ever written the most boring book ever written. You may be so concerned with detracting from the Word that you just want to stand up and read in a monotone voice.
6. Try too hard to be the funny guy. The goal is to get your hearers to enjoy the Word of God, not to enjoy you. If they leave thinking “what a funny preacher,” then you preached a terrible sermon. The Word of God must be on their heart and mind when they leave; and if God is not on their mind when they leave, then they shouldn’t be able to lay this at your feet.
5. Preach your opinion or hobbyhorses instead of the text. How can you excellently allow the Word of God to stand on its own when you ignore how God the Holy Spirit originally inspired the literary makeup of the text in its specific historical context? If the Word of God needs your innovation, then it is no longer the Word of God. The most powerful interpretation is the interpretation that the text demands, not what we can speculate, dream up or spiritualize.
4. Use Greek and Hebrew to impress. Do you know Greek and Hebrew? Do your people know Greek and Hebrew? If not, then why in the world would you use Greek and Hebrew in your sermons? Do the exegetical work during your study time; only use Greek and Hebrew in your sermon whenever it is absolutely necessary in order to communicate the text.
3. Ignore the audience. Your illustrations should be understandable to your audience. If you are preaching to the elderly, they will not understand a reference to the Twilight Saga, Tupac, 50 Cent etc., but you can probably reference Johnny Cash. If you are preaching in a city, farming references may not be easily understood. Consider these realities when preparing your sermon.
2. Neglect teaching your people to enjoy the Word of God. Teaching children that the value of the Bible is bound up in its literary makeup, cool battle stories or miraculous elements will not help your audience to truly enjoy the Bible; it will merely help them to enjoy the genres or stories of Scripture. Any atheist can enjoy these elements; however, Christians should ultimately enjoy the Word of God because it is the Word of God.
1. Tell a joke or story that has nothing to do with the text. Why would you use a joke or story that has nothing to do with the text? You want your hearers to think on the text, not on something else. Whenever you detract from the text, you are only doing the devil’s and their flesh’s work for them, because they don’t want your hearers to focus on the text either.
Gerhard Pfandl, (1)
Israel Leito (1)
Keith L. Major (2)
Leonard A. Johnson (316)
Leonard Johnson (1)
Silas McKinney (1)
Thom Rainer (1)