No matter how long you’ve been preaching, you can improve your sermon delivery. I believe that with all my heart. You can learn new things. You can take a step outside of your comfort zone – that’s where growth happens. But the thing is…
You have to work on it. Intentionally. Just like with anything else, if you want to win at it, be good at it, you’ve got to work on it. So don’t just let this be an article you read, but a set of actions you take. Are you ready?
Improve Your Sermon Delivery: 5 Unexpected Steps
1. Get your mind right before you arrive.
I am an advocate of having a pre-preaching routine. When I dialed this in, it was like a switch was flipped. Everything began to brighten up.
I don’t know what you’ll need to do to get your mind right before you arrive to your church’s gathering space on Sunday, but it may include:
- Early morning prayer
- Reading the text multiple times through
- Listening or watching a sermon from another pastor
Here’s my full Sunday morning pre-preaching routine:
2. Stretch before you go on stage.
If your body isn’t loose, you’ll be stiff. (Profound, right?) But think about it, if you want to preach an engaging message and have the freedom to move, then don’t just get your mind and your spirit right before you preach, but also get your body right.
I typically will go with these stretches (feel free to google them):
- Chest stretch (pull your arms behind your back)
- Triceps stretch (pull your arm over your head, use your other arm to slowly stretch the other out)
- Shoulder stretch (if you played baseball, you know this one – put one arm across your chest and use the other to stretch it)
- Quad stretch (bend your leg at the knee and use your arm to stretch it)
- Hamstring stretch (touch your toes without bending your legs – or try)
Here’s the point: get loose!
As I would tell my baseball teams when I coached, loosey goosey, loosey goosey.
3. Enjoy it.
I don’t know about you, but if someone told me to go to your happy place, one of the “places” I’d go is preaching. I have a ton of fun delivering God’s word.
Sure, it’s a lot of weight. But man, it’s a blast.
Here’s a test. Ask your spouse or a close friend if you look like you enjoy it when you preach. They’ll know you best and will be able to tell.
When you enjoy preaching, your congregation will notice and it will make your sermons far better.
4. Be you.
God doesn’t want you to be your favorite preacher, He wants you to be you.
He made you on purpose.
If you have a dry sense of humor, take that to the pulpit. If you’re an animated person, take that to the pulpit. Be you.
For example, I’ve got two modes. I can be super serious and focused and I can be super goofy and energetic. If you’re familiar with the Enneagram, I’m an 8 with a wing 7.
I take those two things with me to the pulpit.
I didn’t always do this.
I’d often only be the super serious challenger and my sermons lacked flavor, personality, and, well, me.
Want to know what helped me be me? I made it a point to enjoy preaching, to have fun, and to let my humor come through.
So, be you. If you don’t know who you are and how you’re wired, the Enneagram is a great thing to dive into. Also, the Myers-Briggs is very helpful as well. You can do a free test at 16Personalities.com (ENTJ, represent!).
5. Preach as their pastor, not a conference speaker.
You don’t have to be the most eloquent. You don’t have to be the most polished.
The thing that will make the most difference in your preaching is to make sure your congregation knows that you love them and care about them.
Get to know them. Let them get to know you.
Be real. Be vulnerable. Tell them about Jesus. A lot.
They don’t need another podcast preacher, YouTube preacher, or Instagram preacher, they need you to be their pastor.
Walk with them. Love them. Lead them.
Your sermons will be exponentially better if you do this well.
What would you add?
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