(This message was originally published on May 15, 2014)


Preaching is an ongoing ministry assignment for so many of you. As Scripture reminds us, preaching the Word of God is a privilege and a responsibility. This week, SBC of Virginia had a Leadership Summit for pastors of smaller congregations. Our subject was on the ministry of preaching.

I wanted to send all of you this list of Top Five Preaching Tips from our panel of pastors and preachers.

May the Spirit empower our preaching so as to result in strong churches with a bold commitment to the Great Commission.

Top 5 Preaching Tips from Pastors of Smaller Congregations Leadership Summit – May 13, 2014

Tim Hight, GraceLife Baptist Church

  • Never stop crying out for the enabling and empowering of the Holy Spirit.
  • Always allow the Biblical text to dictate the foundation and flow of the sermon.
  • Let every sermon be saturated with the Gospel.
  • Pray that God will first do in you what He desires to do through You.
  • Allow authenticity and compassion to drive your delivery.

Tyler Scarlett, Forest Baptist Church

  • Let the text establish the sermon’s point, shape and mood.
  • Avoid the commentaries until you’ve read the text 50 times.
  • Realize it or not, most preachers talk too fast. Slow down. Pause more.
  • Exercise faith in the Holy Spirit – plan a preaching calendar.
  • Remember, your best sermon is always your next one.

Jimmy Acree, Bacon’s Castle Baptist Church

  • Plan your preaching schedule at least six months out, preferably a year out. Your schedule should include the series title if available, the text, the general subject matter and the Sunday date.
  • Preach expositionally most of the time. Topical messages are sometimes needed but teaching expositionally is the best way to deliver God’s Word.  “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”
  • Begin work on your preaching early in the week.  Don’t put off your sermon preparation to the end of the week lest you give to God’s people less than your best.
  • Seek honest feedback from people you trust and people who know you, who can help you improve in your preaching.  Seek feedback in content, clarity, delivery and application.  If you find yourself deficient in some area, work on it specifically.
  • Don’t confuse preaching for making disciples.  Preaching is important, and God can use it in a person’s life, but disciple making takes place in the context of relationships.  Jesus modeled for us disciple making by pouring his life into a few men in relationship with him.  This should be our priority as pastors.

David Slayton, South Norfolk Baptist Church

  • Pastor your church so you can know your people.
  • Pastor in your community so you can know and speak to your community.
  • Spend time with people so they will want to listen: They only listen to pastors they think who care.
  • Use the Biblical languages Greek and Hebrew in study.
  • Use application that is tied to daily living.

Josh Turner, New Life Community Church

  • Make sure sermon preparation is a priority in your schedule.  This is your ministry, the part that you play in the organization.
  • Start planning your preparation days.  Start with an ideal work week, subtract 15-20 hours per week for sermon prep/prayer and fill in the blanks.
  • Plan a one year/6 mons. preaching calendar.
  • Be sure to let the text drive your sermon.
  • Communicate your preaching schedule with your worship leader.

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