Monday, 10 January 2011

Principles for preaching

Here are some that I am inceasingly convinced are primary:

The general thrust
  1. Ask yourself, 'what is God's message for my people through this text."
  2. Teach as one heralding what God has done and is doing, rather than as one simply explaining a text.
  3. Explain and proclaim the key point and sub-points of the text, taking the hearer through it so they both understand and feel its significance.
  4. Wherever possible, without distorting meaning, use illustrations and illustrative language.
  5. Appy in a manner consistent with the original intent of the text, appealing to people's wills to respond with firmer belief and submission of life.
  6. Say nothing that doesn't contribute to the purpose of the sermon.
To do along the way
  1. Focus on how the glory of God in Christ as pointed to by the text.
  2. Word everything in a way that regularly hooks and engages the thoughts and lives of your hearers.
  3. Explain a key doctrine the text alludes to by way of instruction on issues of salvation.
  4. Show how a truth may be practiced by way of training in righteousness.
  5. Diagnose the primary error the text confronts in your hearers, and outline its causes, symptoms and cure from scripture.
  6. Encourage the congregation where possible.
  7. Dwell on one key biblical illustration that ensures the main point is grasped.