Pulpit ministry is both a tremendous privilege and responsibility. For many people in the congregation, it is their only interaction with the Bible. A pastor cannot take this lightly. It is not enough to just throw something together and fill up a chunk of time during a Sunday service. Here are four things that a preacher should remember.
1. Let the Bible speak. The point of a sermon is not for you to pick your favourite topic and then find some passages to support your view. Preach the passage and let the Bible speak. You may find that the passage actually challenges your own views.
2. Don’t rely on funny stories or jokes. It is good to have some effective illustrations. Some funny stories can be good as well. But what will your congregation remember the next day? Will it be your joke or what the Bible said?
3. Use PowerPoint as a tool and not as the content of your message. PowerPoint can be good when used correctly as many people are visual learners. But some preachers focus too much on PowerPoint. Ask yourself if the message would be just as effective if the power went out.
4. Rely on God. Yes you have to do your homework. Study the passage, read the commentaries and write the best sermon you can. But when you walk up to the pulpit, give it over to God. The most well written speech without the power of God will be completely ineffective. Do not get overly confident in your own abilities. Trust in God.
Of course there is much more to preaching. But if we forget these four things, we will not be effective as preachers.