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15 Preaching Best Practices

Tips from great preachers that make a difference in the pulpit

For the last four years I have been learning how to preach. I started preaching as an assistant pastor in Washington DC, about one to two times a month, and I have recently started preaching as a church planter to my new church in Chicago. Along the way, I have been scouring resources on preaching, pumping feedback out of people, and doing my best to adapt. I made a list of the best practices that have worked for me. Of course, this is highly subjective, incomplete, and I'm no final authority. With those disclaimers, here's the best advice on preaching that I have been able to pull together, and some suggestions for preachers and articles that stand as strong examples for each of these practices.

  1. Establish personal credibility with your audience before you dive into the text, usually by talking about a shared human experience. This is not necessary if it's already established. Ideally, describe how the problem addressed by the biblical text has impacted your life. (See Andy Stanley, Communicating for a Change.)

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June 30, 2017  3:15pm

Really helpful points! Thanks :)

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Walt Leytham

June 29, 2017  5:35am

#16 Be Yourself! There's nothing worse than a preacher who is too preachy. Fake crying, yelling etc. Just be yourself and you'll communicate better to those who know you and those who don't. I'm not a preacher and have never preached, but I know what draws me in and I also know what turns me off during a sermon.

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Angela Schaffner

December 09, 2014  12:42pm

These are great guidelines. I am preaching my fourth sermon tomorrow, and am actively looking to learn. I would also recommend "The Preaching Life" by Barbara Brown Taylor to anyone who preaches.

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Yohannis Trisfant

December 01, 2013  6:51am

Thanks for the lists and resource

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Belita Mitchell

October 22, 2013  9:27pm

Good solid points for improving the preaching experience. Thanks for sharing.

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