Bible Answer

Advice on preaching

I would like some basic advice on preaching. How do I get started?

Our ministry does not provide personal counseling services though we can offer some basic advice on preaching. First, preaching is a process of expositing (or explaining) the word of God. Preaching is not speech-giving nor is it merely entertaining. Preaching is always a matter of teaching and applying the word of God to God’s people, as Paul said:

2Tim. 4:1  I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 
2Tim. 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 
2Tim. 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 
2Tim. 4:4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 

Notice that Paul’s primary concern to Timothy, a young preacher, was that he preach the word of God rather than simply spreading myths and useless stories. Unfortunately, many pastors and preachers today have ignored Paul’s advice and continue to preach useless words rather than teaching God’s word. Preaching must be centered on expositing the text of scripture or it lacks any validity.

Secondly, you cannot preach the word if you do not know the word, so every preacher must establish a life-long habit of learning the word of God. You must devote yourself to the study of scripture in an in-depth and diligent manner so that you may be prepared to teach others. There is no short cut to hours of study and preparation. 

Finally, no preacher can expect to impact men and women for the kingdom unless and until they are called and equipped by the Spirit of God for that purpose. So we encourage you to seek the Lord in prayer and with the confirmation of other godly men before assuming you are called to preach the word. If other men agree you are called in this way, then they may be led by the Spirit to lay hands on you and confirm your calling.

Be careful not to step out in preaching before you have this confirmation, as James warns:

James 3:1  Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.