Has your preaching become stale? Has it started to drift in such a way that you’re not even excited to preach the messages you’re preparing?
Eventually, we all experience seasons like that.
But instead of getting comfortable there, I want to give you some ideas to freshen your preaching.
7 Ideas to Freshen Your Preaching
1. Spend equal time reflecting on how to communicate the text as studying the text.
Preaching isn’t only about communicating the meaning of the text, but it is communicating the text to people’s heart and soul.
When we reflect on how people will best receive the passage we are preaching, we are moving from commentator to preacher.
You may need to employ another illustration to make the point stick. You may need to ask a great question to make the point stick. You may need to identify a tension point that people naturally experience when considering applying the text to their lives.
The more time you reflect, the better you will communicate the message.
2. Use different kinds of sermon illustrations than you normally do.
Sermon illustrations are powerful because they allow us to help people see the truth or application rather than just hear them.
There are many different types of sermon illustrations, but many of us naturally drift toward one or two types and rarely employ the others.
You may be quick to use a personal story but you never use the power of analogy in your preaching. Or maybe you’re quick to use a list of examples but you never use any powerful statistics.
If you want to level-up your sermon illustration game and become more versed in other kinds of illustrations, read my Ultimate Guide to Sermon Illustrations.
3. Typically preach inductive sermons? Switch to deductive. (And vice versa.)
If you have a typical approach you preach with, mix it up. If you always preach inductive sermons, try preaching a deductive sermon for a week. If you always preach deductive sermons, try inductive.
The switch may be exactly what you need to freshen your preaching.
4. Live more. Break your routine and try something new.
When we preach, we bring ourselves to the sermon. At least we should.
When we get stuck in a rut in our everyday lives, it can make everything we do less joyful and more stuffy.
Now, I’m all for routine. But I’ve learned that I need to schedule time to go have fun and even try something new.
You may have to get extra creative depending on your community’s current Covid protocols (if you’re reading this and that’s still a thing, of course), but you can still make something happen.
By the way, when you go out and try new things, they can make for great sermon illustrations.
5. Take a break.
Everyone has an optimal preaching cadence. What I mean by that is that everyone has an optimal number of weeks they can preach in a row without wearing out before they need a break.
It will take some time to discover what that cadence is for you, but if you feel like you need to freshen your preaching, a break is probably the first step to take.
The key, though, is to have enough people equipped to preach. You need a bullpen. You need to raise up other voices.
Taking a break from preaching isn’t only good for you, it’s good for the church you serve. They need to hear from other people. In fact, I believe a multiplicity of preaching voices at a church is good for church health.
If you don’t have anyone in your church equipped to preach yet, bring in a guest. But don’t stop there. Begin equipping others to preach when you get back.
By the way, here’s a good reading list you could go through with future preachers to help equip them:
6. Read more.
It could be that the reason you feel like your preaching has gone stale is because your inputs have all but dried up.
It is invaluable to pastors to keep a steady diet of reading consistently and reading widely.
This is something that for the first two-thirds of 2020 I let slip. But I’m not letting it stay that way. Instead, I made a goal on how many books to read per month. Maybe that’s an action step you can take too.
If you need recommendations on what book to read next, we have some great lists that I compiled with the help of other pastors in this community.
- Must-Read Books for Preachers in 2020 (Recommended by Preachers and Church Leaders)
- Must-Read Books for Preachers in 2018 (Recommended by Preachers and Church Leaders)
7. Listen to good preaching.
When I listen to good preaching, I get excited to preach. I learn things. I grow.
Good preaching is good for your soul.
So make it a point to sit under someone else’s preaching too. And don’t just dissect what they do and how they do it. Receive what they are proclaiming from God’s word too.
Don’t know who to listen to or want to broaden your list of preachers you listen to? Give this a read:
What would you add?
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