I love to preach and teach. Here are some things I try to think about when I’m preparing a message or preaching to the church or a youth meeting or midweek class. I don’t always do all these things, and I don’t always do them well, but I try to keep them in mind.
I want to be excited about the topic of the message, and excited to preach it to the church.
I want to be doctrinally sound and preach the truth of the passage.
I want to preach in a way that everyone can understand even children and teens in the congregation.
I want to consider my listeners – some are doing well, some are hurting or struggling, some are long-time believers, some are new, some have yet to believe.
I want to get into the message quickly.
I want to deliver the message with passion and joy.
I want to make the passage come alive for the listeners. For them to see and feel and smell the scene (if it’s a narrative), to feel like they are there.
I want to have a really good illustration or two. If I’m speaking to youth I definitely want to use gripping, interesting illustrations
If possible, I want to have some humor (especially with youth).
I want to show why the topic is so important, or so amazing, or so wonderful for us to know.
I want to show how this message testifies to Christ, displays Christ, what it teaches us about Christ.
I want to stir and excite my listeners to love Jesus and to take action for him. I want to stir the church to gratefulness for all God has done for us in Christ.
I want to show how the passage applies to our lives.
I want to reveal my own weaknesses and how I need the truth I’m preaching on. I want to preach first to myself.
I want to preach clearly and concisely. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. I don’t want anyone to be bored.
I want to preach the gospel in every message and make a passionate appeal to believe in the historical, incarnate God, the Messiah, Jesus who became a man, lived a sinless life, died on a cross to pay for sins, rose from the dead, ascended to heaven and will someday return. I want these elements in every message.
I want to include those who have yet to believe in Jesus in my appeals.
I want to express to my listeners my care for them. That I want them to enjoy Christ. That I want to prepare them for this life and for eternity.