Welcome to the On Preaching Podcast, the podcast dedicated to helping you preach faithfully, clearly, and better.
A good cook knows what to look for on a dish to determine if the meal is ready to eat. The same is true for good preachers. You have done your word work. You have a good sermon idea. You are eager to get to the pulpit. But is that meal really ready to be served?
Here are seven questions to ask before you preach?
Why have I chosen to preach this text? Are you burdened to preach this scripture? Is the text the next passage in a series? Is this message tailored for a particular setting? Be clear and honest with yourself about why you taking this opportunity to preach this text.
Do I properly understand this text? The biblical text is the most important part of any sermon. It should be the foundation for everything you say in the sermon – not a springboard to get to what you already determined to say. Make sure you have properly interpreted the text before you preach it.
What is the main idea of this sermon? Sound exegesis is essential to biblical preaching. But you are not ready to preach just because you understand the text. You must take what you have learned and craft it into a clear message that has purpose, unity, and movement.
How does the meaning of the text apply? The goal of interpretation is application. Hearing without doing is self-deception (James 1:22). Biblical preaching explains and exhorts. As you craft the message, think about how the truth of God’s work applies to head, heart, and hands.
Is this sermon clearly organized? When you go to a nice restaurant, you expect the meal to taste and look good. Your dinner should not be sloppily presented. Neither should your sermon. Work to shape the explanation, application, and illustration of the message in a clear and compelling way.
Where will this message present the gospel? Assume there will be unbelievers in the congregation. Also, assume there will be professing believers who are walking in a false presumption of salvation. Plan a time in this message to make sure you call the hearers to repentance and faith in Christ.
Have I prayed for divine help? Preaching and praying go together. Have you prayed over this message – sincerely, earnestly, and persistently? It happens after prayer! Season and saturate your message with believing prayer that you may preach the word with divine help.
Life and death and eternity and worlds unknown may hang on the preaching and hearing of one sermon. – Charles Haddon Spurgeon