2. a firmly held belief or opinion. “She takes pride in stating her political convictions.”
- the quality of showing that one is firmly convinced of what one believes or says. “His voice lacked conviction.”
Our preaching convictions will come through when we preach, when we prepare, and when we prioritize our week.
If you made a similar list to what I’m going to lay out, what would you say are your preaching convictions?
Here are mine.
8 Preaching Convictions
- The preaching message must be from the word of God. A sermon that lacks power is a sermon that, first and foremost, misses the message of the holy text. It might be all the rage these days, but God’s people don’t need a cute and clever message originated from your heart, they need God’s powerful message originated from His heart. Make it practical, but don’t shortchange the value and power of preaching biblical theology.
- The preaching direction is always, always Christ. A good sermon is one that leads to Christ. The Old Testament points to Him, the gospels reveal Him in history, the rest of the New Testament points back to Him as our King who lived, died, rose from the dead, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and who will return to usher in the new creation in all its fullness. The Holy Spirit indwells His followers to form His image in us to the glory of God. Preaching is the proclamation of Jesus.
- Planning my preaching ahead of time isn’t subverting the Holy Spirit. God is present in our preparation and planning just as He is present in our preaching delivery. It is good stewardship to prayerfully plan your preaching ahead of time.
- I must prioritize my preaching preparation. No one else will do it for me. What this oftentimes looks like for me is getting out of the office. I am regularly at a coffee shop on Mondays and sometimes Thursdays. If I am in the office, the long, uninterrupted times of sermon prep that I need will usually be hijacked.
- My sermon isn’t the only thing that must be prepared. My heart must be prepared to preach. Over time, I’ve learned what helps me the most. Letting the message sit untouched all day on Friday is huge. Prayerfully approaching it Saturday night to look it over and turn my manuscript into preaching notes is helpful. When Sunday morning rolls around, it is a time of prayer as I look over the message one or two times. As I get ready for the day, I listen to a sermon from someone else. This helps me tremendously. For more on this, here’s my Sunday morning pre-preaching routine.
- Sermon preparation, sermon writing, and preaching delivery should be done with joy. Some days, some weeks, some months even, are really difficult in ministry. And it’s those times especially that I’m reminded that my joy doesn’t come from my circumstances, it doesn’t come from some positive self-talk formula, it comes from the Holy Spirit bearing His fruit in me. So I pray and ask Him to give me joy in this preparation time, in this writing time, in this preaching moment. Give me joy, Lord. Many of us, I’m sure, need to pray that prayer.
- Pictures in preaching are sticky and powerful. The next time someone tells you, “good sermon!” ask them what stuck out to them in the message. Many times when you do this, their reply will include a reference to a sermon illustration you used to, as Dr. Eric Mason says, “make it plain.” Pictures in preaching are sticky–they stay in people’s minds. Pictures in preaching are powerful–they open the door to new angles of seeing God’s amazing truth.
- The preaching moment is powerful because God is at work and moving in hearers’ hearts. We should preach with a conviction of holy expectancy. The Spirit of God is at work in the preaching of His word. Hearts are softened, awareness of sin is manifested, and seeds of God’s grace are planted. We should preach with prayer-filled expectancy that God will bring hope and healing to people in the preaching moment. Break every chain, Lord. Break every chain!
What are your preaching convictions?
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