11 things you should not do as preachers

Photo credit www.hbcharlesjr.com

Jared Moore put together a checklist of 11 things that you cannot do… if God-centered preaching is your goal. If you want to help your hearers focus on God and think on God when they leave your sermon(s), then here are 11 things that you cannot do… (I picked

11. Over-repeat yourself. 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. Wives are great assets to pastors because they will often tell you the truth. Church members are often overly-kind except for the occasional “preaching expert.”

10. Form your 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 be forced to pluck the text out of context. The text should form your points, instead of you forcing your points onto a text. If you force your points on a text, it is impossible for the Christians in the pew to submit to your teaching and enjoy the Lord through the specific text you are preaching from. (Granted, you are probably still preaching truth that is found elsewhere in the Bible. At least, I hope!)

7. Be overly-humorous. The goal is to encourage your hearers to enjoy God through His word, not to enjoy you. If your hearers leave thinking “what a funny preacher,” then you preached a terrible sermon. The word of God must be on their hearts and minds when they leave, and if God is not on their hearts and minds when they leave, then they shouldn’t be able to lay this sin at your feet.

1. Leave Christ out of your sermon. The Old Testament details creation, Fall/Sin, God’s promised redemption of His people and the gradual unfolding of this plan. The New Testament details God’s salvation of His church through the finished work of Christ alone. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, the Prophet, Priest and King in the New Testament, and He’s returning soon to rule and reign forevermore.

Read the entire article here – http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors-preaching-articles/jared-moore-sharpen-your-sermon-with-a-god-centered-checklist-2118.asp

Preach the Gospel, Not the Garnish

photo credit

by Jared Moore from Sermon Central

The common blessings that all humans enjoy, regardless if they’re Christians or not, are often referred to as “common grace.” The rain falls on the just and the unjust (Matt. 5:45). God loves all His creation, as evidenced by His providential care for all of His creation. To think of our specific topic—preaching—one must be careful not to drown one’s hearers in common grace. If our hearers leave our sermons thinking on common grace due to our preaching, we might be drowning their souls in common grace.

Common grace should send humans running to God who provides, but due to our sinful hearts, humans turn God’s common grace to use in our idolatry instead. We need God’s special revelation—the good news of Christ—in order to be saved from God’s wrath, our sinful hearts, the evil one, and this evil world (Matt. 28:18-20). Common grace cannot save sinners. Common grace only provides sinners with enough information to condemn them (Rom. 1:18-32). If our hearers leave our sermons thinking only on the common grace in our message, then they’ve only received enough information to condemn them.

Thus, if our hearers leave our sermons thinking, What a funny preacher, What a great storyteller, What a gifted speaker, etc., they’ve retained from our preaching the same grace they could have retained from any unbelieving comedian, storyteller or speaker. They’ve only received enough grace to leave them “without excuse” (Rom. 1:20) when they stand before God one day, but not enough to save them. The goal of preaching must be to have our hearers leaving our sermons thinking on special revelation—Scripture.

Now it’s one thing if our hearers ignore the content of our messages and focus on the elements of common grace in our sermons. But it’s another thing altogether if our goal as preachers is to entertain our hearers. It’s one thing to use common grace to magnify special revelation. It’s another thing to drown special revelation in common grace.

As preachers of the word of God (special revelation), we must not be “ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith’” (Rom. 1:16-17).

The arts we use in our preaching (homiletics) must serve Scripture instead of hiding it. Special revelation is indeed special. God has spoken, clearly revealing Himself to us through His inerrant word. Through His special revelation, we can know God, His creation, our fall and our redemption that came from the Father through the Son and by the Holy Spirit.

Everything we do, say and display when we preach must serve the purpose of communicating the word of God. The “specialness” of the word of God should be evident to our hearers, not just in what we preach, but in how we preach. The main point of our sermons should be the gospel (special revelation), not the garnishes (common grace).

Therefore, preachers, let us labor to excellently magnify the inerrant truth of God when we preach. Let us not drown our hearers in common grace like other unbelieving orators. Let us instead use elements of common grace to excellently serve and magnify special revelation. Emphasize the gospel, not the garnishes, for in doing so, God may save the souls of our hearers (1 Cor. 15:1-4)!

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