A sermon aims to guide a congregation in the matters of faith and leading a God-centered life. For this reason, it has to be a call for action powerful enough to trigger a quick and positive response. Besides, the sermon has to be there in the hearts of the believers at least until a time it gathers again for a worship service. It is true that all sermons delivered by a pastor may not be able to inspire a congregation to act fast. But, a preacher who is anointed by the Holy Spirit is sure to fulfil God’s purpose for the faithful at the time of preaching. Here are some helpful insights if you are a pastor who wishes to be of benefit to the church.
Are You A Preacher?
You may be a highly appreciated minister in your church. But, are you ready to be a preacher? This is the question which needs to be answered even before preparing your first sermon for the congregation. Know that preaching is not an activity designed to complete the timings of the worship service. The pastor has to be an instrument of God informing the faithful what God desires from them. This would happen only if the sermon is directed and inspired by the Holy Spirit. This is of utmost importance to God because unfaithfulness to His word would never be tolerated.
One can feel confident of God’s call to teach the faithful if he/she feels an irresistible desire to preach the gospel. The quick and positive response to a call to preaching in general too is a sign that a person is anointed by the Spirit to guide the congregation. If you appear to be blessed with the gift of preaching, you would be examined by the leaders of the congregation. This would be done in accordance with the individuality of the elders described in the bible. If the result is satisfactory, you would be ordained as a preacher. You would be charged with the call, “go and make disciples all over the world.”
What is Christ-Centered Preaching?
If you are someone with a calling to preach, make sure that your speeches revolves around Jesus Christ. Remember, Jesus Christ is someone who did what he said. A Christian is someone who is ordered to follow Christ. And, a sincere preacher would be able to do nothing other than Christian preaching. Take care to ensure that your life does not contradict what you have to say when you deliver the sermon. But, do not be carried away by the oft-repeated statement, “preach with your deeds, not by your words.” If you feel passionate to preach the word of God, do it without hesitation. The church of today is badly in need of anointed preachers.
Preparing a Sermon
With the call determined, you have to address the concern, how to preach effectively. Just follow the guidelines given below to prepare a powerful sermon.
1. Consider the Occasion: Are you going to preach for a special occasion like the Veterans Day? An understanding of your audience and the occasion is a must-have if you wish to be of service to the congregation as a pastor. Besides, doing this would be of great help to you in determining the theme of the sermon.
2. Read Bible and Take Note of the Verses to be Used in the Sermon: Attesting every single point of your sermon with a bible verse is something which deserves utmost significance. And, preparing it well in advance would make you feel more confident. This would also ensure an uninterrupted flow, facilitating the smooth transition from one point to another while preaching.
3. Prepare an Outline: While preparing to preach, you are advised to stay away from writing a complete manuscript of the sermon. Practising it several times would imprint the same on your mind. And, this would come out as a flow of words when you stand behind the pulpit. Know that no one is going to listen to a mechanical reading of a written message. Just prepare a draft so as to help you memorize the focal points. Whatever is the form, how to write a sermon is something you should not ignore at any cost.
4. Give Your 100% When Preaching: When you start preaching, it has to be a natural flow, a message which comes from the bottom of your heart. This becomes important due to the fact that a congregation is no different from a general audience. If it fails to see a connection between the speaker and the speech being delivered, it would refuse to listen to it. Describe your experiences in life in connection to the points you wish to stress during the sermon. This would establish a connection between you and the congregation.
5. Do Not Forget to Start the Sermon With A Prayer: Remember, it is not you who is speaking to the faithful. The spirit of God is at work when you are preaching. You are just sowing the seeds. If your sermon is not directed by the Holy Spirit, nothing is going to happen. This requires that you should ask God’s guidance before beginning to preach.
6. Allow Yourself to be Guided by the Holy Spirit: If you find yourself diverting from the prepared sermon, let it happen. You never know what God is planning to achieve through you for the congregation. If you are talking from your heart, the congregation would have no difficulty to follow you.
7. Be Mindful of Time: When standing behind the pulpit to give a message, you should be mindful of the time allotted to you. Too long a sermon is sure to lead to boredom. You can also make use of voice modulation to give the desired effect to the points you wish to stress in the speech. A small interval of devotional enjoyment or five minutes spent in prayer in between is an option worth considering with this regard.