A Few Thoughts on Preachers and Preaching

Recently I was asked by a young preacher to offer a few, brief thoughts on preachers and preaching. What follows is just that. These are in no particular order. These are just the way in which they came to mind.

  1. Take care to develop the preacher; the preaching will come later.
  2. Above all else, be a faithful Christian.
  3. Learn to lead by being led by godly elders at your local church.
  4. Let dead men be your models and living men be your mentors.
  5. Get good counsel from ministers whom you trust with regards to college and seminary.
  6. Guard your heart but never trust it.
  7. Be mastered by the Bible rather than a master of it.
  8. Develop a prayer life rather than a “prayer time.”
  9. Learn to laugh and never take yourself too seriously. No one else will.
  10. If your biblical interpretation has no gospel implication understand that you didn’t get the interpretation correct.
  11. Remember that your congregation isn’t your audience; God is.
  12. Texts have a shelf life. That text will keep until you get to it.
  13. If you know your Bible then you will know your people.
  14. You are charged with feeding the hungry sheep not chasing the lone wolves.
  15. Feed the sheep that come to eat.
  16. Everyone needs the gospel. Always.
  17. The gospel addresses everything. Everything.
  18. No text is less inspired if you don’t say that “God laid it on your heart.” No message is more authoritative if you do. The only thing that seems more “inspired” in such moments is your ego.
  19. Thematic preaching is necessary. To write the same things again is both needful and safe.
  20. Preaching Christ from all of Scripture ensures that every sermon is the most important one that you will ever preach.
  21. There are no texts that your people don’t need to hear.
  22. It is impossible to preach the wrong text if you preach it the right way.
  23. Books and letters were written as books and letters and should (by and large) be preached as books and letters.
  24. The writers of epistles were addressing certain concerns. It is not only permissible to use those epistle to address related concerns, it is necessary to do so.
  25. God has chosen to give sermons the same way that He has chosen to give paychecks—through hard work.
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