Yes, it’s been forever since I’ve posted. Moving and school have kept me occupied. I desire to pick it up again, with some new features. Soon.
I developed this quick guide to elements of effective sermon delivery for my Homiletics class at Faith Baptist Bible College. In first semester Homiletics we’re focusing on what to preach – learning to develop an expository sermon from a passage of Scripture. Second semester we’ll focus on how to preach – effectively communicating the sermon. But the guys will be preaching the sermons they’ve been working on this semester, and I wanted to give them a quick, helpful guide to some of the practical aspects of effective sermon delivery. I thought some of you might benefit from it as well. Here you go. (I don’t usually try to alliterate, it just sort of happened.)
- Prayerful – Invest time in prayer throughout the preparation process and before the preaching event.
- Personal – Develop genuine concern, love, and compassion for the people you are speaking to.
- Passionate – Believe what you are preaching and feel a compelling burden to communicate it.
- Finished – Prepare thoroughly and completely so that you know what the text means and what you will say about it.
- Familiar – Go over your message repeatedly so that you can communicate freely.
- Fresh – Review your message close to the time you will preach. Avoid distractions as much as possible without being uncaring or rude to people.
- Awake – Do mouth calisthenics to warm up your vocalization muscles.
- Articulate – Pronounce your words clearly and correctly. Don’t mumble. Read your Scripture text clearly, reverently, and expressively.
- Eye contact – Look everyone you can in the eye at least once.
- Expressive – Smile. Don’t look mad. Show compassion.
- Enjoy – You’re preaching the Word of God. What a privilege and joy! Show it.
- Clear – Lift your voice and enunciate your words. Hydrate before preaching, and while preaching if necessary. Use a small cough drop if needed.
- Confident – Declare your message without mumbling or stumbling around. Avoid “uh.” Just wait until the thought comes. Speak as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11).
- Controlled – Purposefully vary your pitch, projection/punch, pace, and pause for emphasis and interest.
- At ease – Keep them in a natural position.
- Accentuate – Reinforce what you are saying with appropriate gestures.
- Starting point – The centered pulpit is the most powerful position on the platform. It should be your base of operation. Start from it and, if you move away, return to it.
- Stability – Maintain a poised yet energetic stance. Avoid nervous or distracting movement.
- Steps – Move in ways that emphasize the message, keep people’s attention, and connect with the audience.
- Focus – Concentrate on connecting with them, not on yourself or your notes.
- Not Fans – Do not seek their approval or affirmation. Speak to please God, not man.
- Friends – Help them along the journey that you and they are on.