Continuing my random assortment of preaching tweaks to consider before the next year of preaching:
11. Watch yourself on video. If you have never done this, maybe now is the time. It does not need to be Hollywood quality filming, but I guarantee you will learn a lot when you watch yourself preach. There really is no alternative that will achieve the same value.
12. Go somewhere different in the Bible. Are you an epistles preacher? Always in the gospels? Push the boat out and try wisdom literature or a minor prophet. Try a Psalm that isn’t an obvious one sitting up ready to be preached. Pick a book you have never preached from. You will enjoy, others will be helped, and you will grow as a result.
13. Avoid the moral finish. And so the moral of the story is . . . don’t finish messages this way! Wrestle with and recognize the insidious danger of moralism in preaching. It is the most tempting option to get the most affirmation and feel most Christian in your ministry. But moralism is not the gospel. Moralism is not what we are called to bring to society, or to the community of believers. Try finishing a message with a warm invitation to respond to the Christ offered in Scriptures (and watch the moral fruit!)
14. Add vocal variety. Watch a great communicator and you will see more pauses, more pace variation, more pitch range, more volume extent. Listen to yourself and see where your voice freezes into a certain zone. Vary there.
15. Prune that distracting mannerism. Most people have slightly distracting mannerisms. That includes you. Ask or watch until you discover it. Shoot it. Preach without it. It will just be better that way.