To a favorite class of guys, I address those who preach from Sunday to Sunday. I encourage you to prepare in a way God breathes on His people. Being one of us, you know I know the rigors of arranging words for the Sunday sermon. It still scares me...for what if I speak and what I say doesn't matter?
We want our sermons to live in the Holy Spirit. Our tendency is to smother the flock by our gathering multiples of stories, slogans, supportive quotes, etc. We possibly overload our lessons as we flesh out the sermon. "Flesh out" is a key warning. Our goal is to let the heart of God channel His voice through our lips to their ears.
One of the more difficult hurdles in sermon preparation is to relax. The responsibility before us is surely intense; but we must learn to trust Him enough to relax. God will work with us. No, I'm not suggesting laziness nor lack of preparation. I am calling for us to leave room for God to work. He loves to interject Himself into all works as He is actually partnering with us.
Trust the exposed Word. Trust it. I love it that each passage I read from my Bible is also on the large screen behind me. As the church looks at the words the Word is looking back at the church performing its MRI....Heb. 4:12.
Try---as hard as it is---to refrain from thinking of a good illustration and then building a sermon around it. Trust the exposed Word. Find illustrations to fit around the Word.
Try to be confident to tie a series of scriptures together which support one another. Usually my sermons have one point....whatever the theme is. I want the church to know there is hope and that hope will be found in one main point.
Finally, know you are good enough because Jesus make us that way. Pray for Him to speak in ways you would never guess your English words would convey. Sermons don't live because of our cleverness nor our antics; but because the Holy Spirit alerts the ears of the conscience of God coming through.