Jesus is the greatest preacher that has ever lived.
"From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
After his death Jesus continued to preach.
1 Peter 3:18-19
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
They said this of His preaching:
"The officers answered, never man spake like this man."
The Apostles followed in the footsteps of Jesus.
"And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen."
Preaching is one of the greatest and most glorious callings to which anyone may aspire.
The call to preach.
It is not an intellectual or emotional decision that causes one to become a preacher and preach the Word of God. It is also wrong to preach for financial gain and self-exaltation.
God calls people to this Divine office and His call is powerful and holy.
God uses four different methods to call people namely:
- He gives us a strong conviction within our hearts that we are called.
- He calls us in a dream or a vision.
- He calls us through a true prophetic utterance and spiritual gift.
- He calls us by other supernatural means.
This calling is a heavenly calling.
"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;"
This calling is a holy calling.
2 Timothy 1:9
"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."
This calling is a lasting calling.
"For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance."
It is a calling to preach.
It is not a light or casual thing to preach the Gospel and those who wish to be successful need to be trained. They need to be totally committed to the task and be willing to pay the price to be successful.
It is directed at people.
Those who preach do so to real people.
People who are preached to experience five things:
- They listen to the preacher.
- They hear the message.
- They understand it.
- It touches their reason and emotions.
- It causes them to make a decision.
With this in mind, we should always consider who we are ministering to:
- Their age - children, teens or adults.
- Their intellectual level - educated or illiterate.
- Their emotional state - happy, bereaved or depressed.
- Their physical condition - Tired, sick, healthy or needy.
- Their spiritual condition - saved, unsaved or backslidden.
- Their spiritual age – newly saved or a mature Christian.
The importance of being listened to:
In order to have people listen to us, we have to gain their attention. What we say in the first thirty seconds will determine whether they want to continue listening to us or whether they give their attention to other thoughts or interests around them. The way we say things and the contents of what we say will determine whether we keep their attention. When a preacher preaches interesting truths dynamically, with a powerful anointing, people tend to listen. People listen to what they can understand, preached in simplicity.
The tools of the preacher.
To effectively preach the Gospel, a preacher must have the following tools:
- A Bible - preferably the King James version.
- A pen and notebook to write down all aspects of the sermon.
- A quiet place to prepare a sermon.
- If possible - a table, chair and good lighting.
- If possible - a Bible Dictionary.
- If possible - a Hebrew and Greek word lexicon of the Bible,
- Any other helpful reference notes and books.
Preparing a sermon.
An effective sermon needs to have the following four elements:
- A subject
The subject of a sermon could be about any of the following: Any doctrinal subject, (Faith, salvation, love) Any Biblical character (David, Moses) Any Biblical event. (The crucifixion of Christ) Any topic. (Spiritual victory)
- An introduction.
The introduction to a sermon should not be longer than thirty seconds. It should be interesting and thought provoking and grip the attention of every listener. It can take on the form of a powerful statement or question.
Here is an example -
"In Genesis 1:1 the Bible announces the fact of Gods existence and does not debate it. Let the world know today that God is alive and that His existence should be taken seriously. Friend, do you believe in God?”
- A message outline.
It could be one of the following:
- Biblical text.
Here is an example -
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
The sermon outline of this scripture clearly falls into place:
- For God - (we preach about God)
- So loved - (we describe His love)
- The world - (we focus on the people God loves)
- That He gave His only begotten Son (The price Jesus paid on the Cross)
- That whosoever believeth - (salvation's Key is Faith)
- Should not perish but have everlasting life - (A destination of choice)
- Doctrinal subject.
Here is an example:
Faith. What is faith? The levels of faith. Men of faith. The key to faith. The results of faith.
- Biblical character.
Here is an example:
He was Gods’ unknown choice. His anointing. He defeated the Giant. His preparation in the wilderness. His Kingdom established. He fulfilled Gods purpose in his life.
Here is an example:
The event prophesied in the Bible. The players are now in place to fulfill this prophecy. The great event described. The glory that follows.
- A conclusion.
The conclusion of a sermon brings about its desired effect. When compared to fishing, it is like hooking and pulling in a fish. It should be short, decisive and effective. It should bring a sinner into salvation.
An example of a John 3:16 sermon conclusion would be:
"Dear friend - You have heard of Gods amazing love and the painful suffering of Jesus to buy our salvation. What you decide today will change your life forever. If you have faith in Jesus, He will save you from eternal damnation and give you everlasting life. When I got saved someone helped me to take this step and it changed my life. Today I want to help you and pray with you. While every head is bowed and every eye is closed for prayer, I want you to raise your hand and I will know that you need my prayer. Wherever you are, raise your hand right now and I will see it and include you in my prayer."
Methods of preaching
Extemporaneously. (Without notes) From prepared notes.
PreacPreaching to effect change.
The goal of preaching is to bring about regeneration and transformation in the lives of people. Preaching must please God at all times. Jonah preached to the people of Nineveh, they repented and God spared them from destruction.
Peter preached to the Jews who had rejected and crucified Christ and they were marvelously saved.
“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”
When we preach, the following should be take place:
- The unsaved should be saved.
- Backsliders should return to Christ.
- Those in bondage should be delivered.
- Those who are sick should be healed.
- Believers should be edified.
- Those seeking the Holy Spirit baptism should be filled.
- The needs of people should be met.
Preaching with Gods power
The Gospel is Gods power manifested through the preaching of the Word.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God."
When preaching a sermon, a preacher may feel Gods anointing and be a vessel through which Gods power can flow to people. If there is no anointing in the pulpit, there can be no power in the pew. A preacher needs to spend much time, waiting on the Lord in prayer before a service. This will invoke Gods presence and anointing in that service.
Preaching Gods message.
Every time Christians come together for church, God has a special message for His people. Preachers need to be very sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, to be messengers of a true message. They need to wait on the Lord to receive His message for the people. While they are ministering the Word, they need to be very sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading and do exactly what he says. Many preachers find sermons by resorting to sermon books prepared by other ministers and they end up preaching dead sermons that have no results.
Results that please God.
God knows the need of every person that comes to hear the preaching of the Word. God knows what should to be said and done, to achieve His purpose for each individual life. Everything that is outside of this purpose displeases God. Jesus did exactly what God wanted Him to do:
"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."
When people are saved, healed, restored, delivered, filled with the Holy Spirit and called to work for God, it pleases God.
Preachers should remain humble.
There are several things that bring about the downfall of many preachers.
One of these is pride.
"A man's pride shall bring him low:"
There are two things that can cause a preacher to have pride:
Launching your preaching ministry.
A well-delivered sermon and spectacular results can cause a preacher to be filled with pride.
Drawing crowds of followers and experiencing ministry growth can cause pride.
- Words of praise from people.
We tend to respond to what people say and must realize that this can be a tool that satan uses to bring about our fall.
After a service, people often compliment a preacher on his message. This can cause a preacher to have pride.
It is so important for preachers, to deflect the glory and praise coming their way to God.
People need to know that only God deserves the praise.
To launch your preaching ministry, do six things:
- Know that unless God does it, you will fail.
- Seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in fasting and prayer.
- Carefully write down the steps of the plan that God gives you.
- Patiently wait for the Lord to open the first door.
- When that happens move through it in faith without hesitation.
- Always seek out spiritual leaders who can give you Godly counsel.
Most important of all - Preachers must live out what they preach!
Romans 2:21 -"Thou that preachest that a man should not steal, dost thou steal."