Essential Ingredients of the Best Preachers

Yesterday I listed Greg Haslam’s five ingredients for good preaching.  Today I’ll finish the chapter (11 in Preach the Word), by sharing his list of key ingredients in a good preacher.  Again, I present these for your thoughts, not to agree or disagree with his list.

1.    A compelling call from God. “In my view the number one reason why there is so much bad preaching today is because our pulpits are often occupied by preachers who do not have a divine mandate to be there.”  (p.155)  He urges every preacher to ask himself three questions – who put you there?  Who keeps you there?  Who can get rid of you?

2.    A growing, varied and fresh life with God. “We can think of preaching as the run-off or surplus of all that wells up in the life of the preacher.  But, sadly, many preachers are running on empty much of the time.  They have allowed other things to crowd their time with God.” (p.156)

3.    Happy with their own identity, both as a person and as a preacher. “My plea to all preachers is: be the genuine article. . . . We do not need clones of great preachers like Dr Lloyd-Jones or Billy Graham.  Since preaching is, as Brooks defines it, ‘truth coming through human personality,’ God surely wants us to be free to be ourselves.” (p.157)

4.    Increasingly liberated from the fear of man. “In order to be faithful to God, we have to become relatively indifferent to men’s resistance, criticism or opposition to us, as well as to their flattery or ridicule.”  (p.157)

5.    A genuine love for the people. “If it is true that fear drives out love, thank God it is also true that love will drive out fear.”  (p.158)

6.    A conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit. “As preachers we always need to be aware of our true source of power and we need to tell God how much we depend upon His Holy Spirit.” (p.158)

7.    Infectious in zeal and enthusiasm. “Absorbed in what they have to say, they will absorb the attention of others.  Often, even the most casual and indifferent hearer realizes something important is taking place.  If the truth of the message does not grab you, how can it be expected to grab anyone else?”  (p.159)

Again, points to ponder, but to keep the post from becoming too long, I won’t add comments.  Would your list of seven ingredients be the same?  Longer?  Different?

2 thoughts on “Essential Ingredients of the Best Preachers

  1. With the possible exception of #6, to which lip service can be paid, a false preacher can display all these things. Therefore other tests need to be applied when finding out if a preacher is “good”, e.g.

    1) is his character wise/godly or foolish/ungodly?
    2) Does he practice what he preaches?
    3) What is the fruit of his preaching? Jesus said that we can know a tree by its fruit.

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