While pastoring is more than preaching, developing my preaching skills is high on my priorities. There is one thing I do that I find is very helpful in this area.
I always write out a full manuscript for my Sunday morning sermons. I don’t bring them with me when I preach, but I still write them.
However, I also look for opportunities to preach without writing a sermon. I pick a passage, come up with an anchor illustration and then just start preaching. It may be verse by verse or find three points in the passage.
While I wouldn’t want to do it on Sunday mornings, these other opportunities do help me. For one thing, if I forget a part of my sermon, I have trained myself to just preach on the spot. It has also helped with my delivery.
I will keep writing manuscripts but will also keep preaching from time to time in a more spontaneous way.