Church Planting, Pastors, Uncategorized

Church Planting Tips- Continually Improve Your Preaching

I think one of the biggest reasons that church plants fail is inadequate preaching.

The truth is, there is no excuse for being a subpar preacher. There are just too many resources out there on how to improve your sermons and delivery. And there are too many great preachers out there to learn from.

Need more motivation? The people in your church who have been believers for awhile know this too. They’ve heard great preachers. They know what’s possible, and they know when you’re not improving. Notice that I said, “improving,” not “perfection.” Even if our sermons don’t stack up to Andy Stanley’s, Rob Bell’s, etc., we can at least learn from them and get better.

Plus, pastors pay a price for less than adequate preaching. If you preach well, everything in your church will improve. The attendance will improve. Giving will improve. Volunteering will improve. Momentum will improve, and your task as a leader and vision caster will become easier. Continually improving as a preacher makes everything else in pastoral ministry a little easier.

I’m passionate about continually becoming a better preacher, so I’ve compiled a pretty good list of resources. Here is a list of blog posts over the last couple of years about improving your preaching, including a post entitled, “Preach like Mitch Hedberg.” You know you wanna read it:

Preaching, Uncategorized

Critiquing my Own Preaching Style

Some people view critique and feedback negatively. Others think that if someone critiques their own performance, they’re insecure or a novice.

I’ve been preaching since I was 16 years old. My first sermon was in November of 1993, almost 18 years ago. That first year, from 16 to 17 years old, I preached 52 times.

I still critique my sermons, because I have a driving commitment to continually improve my speaking. I listened to a sermon I gave a couple of weeks ago from Acts 2 entitled “Spirit and Mission.” 

I critique my own preaching every time I speak, but this time was awkward for me. I thought that I had made improvements in the following areas, but I made more mistakes in these areas than I wanted to:

  • Eliminate extraneous sounds like “um”, uh”, “you know”, “right?”
  • Speak in full clear sentences, not in choppy repetitive phrases. Speak in full thoughts. Don’t be choppy or cavalier.
  • Relax and vary voice inflection more. Ironically, I think that if I relax, my voice pitch will naturally become more interesting.
  • Hold a Bible occasionally, so that the congregation can “see” an open Bible and be reminded of the importance of the Bible. Don’t rely on Scripture printed only on paper or on the projection screen.

I’m going to be working on improving these areas in my next sermon.

Putting insecurity aside, what do you need to improve in your job performance?