Here are another five suggestions to consider . . . September is almost here!
31. Add a Bible tip or two. When you preach, don’t just explain the text and make its relevance clear, take the opportunity to equip your listeners to handle the Bible for themselves. Don’t turn your message into a lecture, but reinforce the importance of understanding a text in context, the need to make sense of it “back then” before applying it to today, etc.
32. Express expectation and encouragement. It is easy to turn application of the Bible into pressure and burden. Mix in a bit of negativity and the hoped for life impact is quickly undermined. Take the temperature of your application and conclusion – see if it can be increased. Encourage and expect . . . perhaps it will help.
33. Learn the local lingo. It is possible to speak a generic form of English and get by in England, America, Australia, South Africa, etc. It is also possible to learn the local dialect and fit in so much better. Maybe the same is true in the Bible. Instead of just speaking Biblish, why not speak the Johannine dialect when preaching John, or Lukan when preaching Luke?
34. Simplify the message. When we plan messages on paper we can easily make them more complicated than necessary. Try making the structure and shape of the message as simple as possible. This is not about dumbing it down, it is about helping listeners be able to follow, no matter how deep or weighty the content might be.
35. Map the message. In fact, instead of outlining the message as you would an essay for college, try mapping it as you would a journey. Where will we go first, and then, then after that? I often end up with a sermon map on the whiteboard, rather than an outline. Some people like to tie the landmarks to physical landmarks in the church space. Somehow the sense of movement and progression becomes stronger with this approach.