Preacher: Strive for Clarity

There are so many important elements of a sermon: showing Jesus to all who hear, powerful introductions, engaging storytelling, effective illustrations, and on.

But, one thing that is missing in a lot of sermons I hear is a simple principle: clarity. You can have great power, great stories, great exegesis, great insert whatever you want but if you are not clear your audience will not be sure what to take home with them.

Here are some ways to achieve clarity in your preaching:

It’s All About Jesus

One way to achieve clarity in your preaching is to always connect the “topic” or passage to the Gospel. Without the good news of Jesus dying on the cross and being resurrected so we could be saved from our sins whatever topic you are preaching on would be ultimately meaningless.

Your people need to know this. They need to know that preaching is more than moralizing and living as a Disciple is about more than living a good live, or overcoming obstacles.

Preacher, you will never be clear in your preaching until you forget the moralizing and the feel good motivation and instead share the ultimate truths given to us by the power found in Jesus’ sacrifice.

Hit On One Key Take Home Truth

One way we limit how clear our sermons are is we have many points that we want our audience to take home with them.

Exegete your passage and found the one key truth the author was teaching and make sure your audience knows what it is.

Be creative and compelling and this will stick.

Limit Long Blocks of Greek and Hebrew

I know. I know. You worked years on your Greek and Hebrew, you have kept that muscle fresh you found an absolute gem in the text you are preaching on this week. The motivation is to go on and on about it.

The honest truth? Most of your audience does not care, and you are just making the message less clear. By all means use your language skills to help you craft your sermon, by all means bring out quick nuggets every now and again but do not fall back on this week in and week out.

Focus On One Key Passage

Another way to be as clear as possible as a preacher is to focus on one key passage each week. This way you are not spread too thin jumping from one passage to another.

Exegete one main passage as clearly as possible and your audience’s brains will thank you when they are processing what they need to remember.

What would you add? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by Joe Hoagland

Joe is a pastor at Rise Church in Marion, Oh. He is married to his awesome wife Jenna and they have one daughter Aryella.

He loves to lead people to Jesus and preach God's word.

You can often times find Joe hiking, camping, writing, reading, or enjoying technology.


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