There are many elements of style that can be studied and worked on. But one thing that is really important is to be you. Philips Brooks’ famous definition of preaching as “truth through personality” is important to remember. It is truth through your personality!
Preaching, like much of Christian ministry, is incarnational in nature. And the flesh the truth takes on is yours. That means your strengths and your weaknesses. Your personality. Your humor. Your mannerisms. Your temperament. You.
AJ Gordon referred to preachers taking on someone else’s personality as moral plagiarism. The temptation is always there, but we must resist. We can learn from others and even take onboard aspects of the style of others, but there is a fine line between that and taking on a personality that is not yours.
This is no excuse for poor communication. There are aspects of our personal style that each of us could strive to improve for the sake of effective communication. However, to merely introduce the personal style of another is not the solution. It will not be you, and therefore, it will not be effective.