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The calling to preach is a privilege. Every time a called person of God opens up the Book of God to the people of God for the glory of God, it should be done in such a way that gives God glory and draws people unto the Lord.
Yesterday, I had a meting with one of my mentors in the ministry. We began discussing the topic of preaching, and ideas started popping into my head as my mentor was pouring into me. Really, I believe it was the Lord speaking to my heart some reminders to be wise and above reproach when preaching.
Here are some of the things I began to ponder, pertaining to what to avoid when preaching:
Pride is significantly less likely to bubble up in your preaching when you are bathed in prayer. Prayer is the antidote for pride.
Are you “prayed up” when you walk into that pulpit or onto that stage? One little thing I love that my wife does is, right before I walk on the stage to preach, she leans over, and quietly whispers a prayer to Jesus in my ear. As an aside, that little weekly gesture has been fantastic for our marriage, too.
If you work hard at preparing a message, but it is askew due to you just not knowing what you’re talking about, it can cost you a lot of leadership commodity. Even worse, it can hurt the spiritual walks of people. If there is something from the text about which you don’t know what you’re talking, either learn more about it, or have a guest preacher cover that area who is more informed.
This is just plain and simply the sin of laziness and slothfulness if you are not prepared when you stand in the pulpit. When a preacher stands up to teach a text, he should know way more about that passage than he could ever preach in one message.
A little dab will do ya, when it comes to sarcasm. If you’re too sarcastic, the lines can blur as to where you’re being serious and where you’re being silly. It’s better to just eliminate it either altogether, or close to it when you preach.
There is a trend amongst my generation of younger preachers to preach 50+ minutes. I don’t get it.
Typically, when a preacher goes for too long over and over, it shows they didn’t have the wisdom as to where to cut the fat. As a result, it is hard to chew the good meat you’re delivering. Err on the side of preaching shorter than longer.
- Passive Aggressiveness
Making little comments to take shots at groups in the church or politicians is not godly or wise. If you have something to say, then say it. Passive aggressiveness has no place in the pulpit.
I hope these six traits to avoid when preaching are a good reminder for you. I know I could use a reminder on occasion to more faithfully proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Do you have any additional traits you think I should have mentioned? Let me know in the comment section below or on social media.