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Do You Want to Know a Secret?

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What if there was a simple secret you could apply to your sermons that would make you a compelling and captivating preacher? Would you use it? Well, that secret exists and every great preacher applies it. And I am not talking about prayer. Prayer is essential to great preaching but if prayer was the secret every preacher would be captivating. And we know that is not the case! Hard work is not the secret either. Sure, you must work hard to preach effectively, but I have known some of the hardest working preachers whose sermons would put their own mothers to sleep.

If prayer and hard work are not the secret to great preaching, what is the secret? My upcoming book by Abingdon Press will reveal it. “That’ll Preach!: Five Simple Steps to Your Best Sermon Ever” will unveil the secret to great preaching and show you a special method to apply it. If you apply the five simple steps in this book you will preach captivating sermons that will transform lives for Christ time after time. This book will revolutionize your preaching ministry. You can pre-order it here:

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Let me tell you why I wrote this book. A while back I went to see my doctor for a physical. After checking my blood pressure and listening to my heart, he asked me about my stress level. We both chuckled because he knows what I do for a living. Being the pastor of a local church is always on that notorious list of most stressful vocations. I told him it was pretty high because on top of my pastoral responsibilities I was trying to finish a book. “What’s the book about?” he asked. “Preaching,” I replied, expecting him to move quickly to a question about my diet. Instead he perked up and said, “Oh really! You mean a book on how to preach?” “Exactly,” I said. “It’s a book to help pastors improve their preaching.” His eyes widened as he said, “Well, when it is published I want a signed copy for my pastor! If there is one thing he needs to improve it’s his preaching!”

I was taken aback because I had never seen my doctor so expressive. He pushed away from his desk, leaned back in his chair, and his clinical demeanor completely disappeared. For the next several minutes he shared why his pastor’s sermons were so dreadful. He told me that his pastor had great qualities but the church’s worship attendance was dwindling because no one could bear to sit through his sermons. His response caught me completely off guard. This was not the conversation I was expecting to have with my doctor! I was thinking about HDL and LDL cholesterol, not preaching!

I abruptly switched from patient to “homiletics professor” and asked, “Well, do his sermons lack focus? Are they difficult to follow? Is it his delivery? Do his sermons not have interesting or relevant content? Does he not explain scripture so people can understand it?” “Yes!” he replied. Then he looked at me and said, “Don’t get me wrong. I like the guy and he has done some good things for our church, but people want to be able to connect with their pastor and hear good preaching. Folks also need the fire of faith stoked every once in a while. Do seminaries not teach preaching anymore?” I told them that seminaries do teach preaching but sometimes they leave out the secret. “What’s the secret?” he asked. I winked and said, “It’s in the book.” He smiled and said, “When it comes out, make sure I get a copy.” He then got back to his examination. In his defense, I was the last patient of the day!

The conversation I had with my doctor confirmed why I wrote this book: Preaching matters! If it mattered enough for a doctor to stop his examination, then we as preachers better have our act together! I don’t know of a church that doesn’t want a great preacher in the pulpit every Sunday. When Staff Parish and pastor search committees are looking for a new pastor, what is always at the very top of their list of wishes? “We want a good preacher.” You never hear of a church that is content settling for a poor or mediocre preacher, although unfortunately many do.

Effective preaching is essential to the spiritual health of churches. Churches desperately need someone called by God to stand up and proclaim the gospel with skill and passion. Great preaching alone will not grow vital churches but you can’t grow vital churches without great preaching. I dare you to show me a healthy and vibrant church that does not have an effective preacher in the pulpit every Sunday.

Whether you struggle with preaching or simply want to improve your preaching skills my book will take your preaching to the next level. It will give you the tools you need to prepare sermons “that’ll preach!” Preorder here:

Have some further thoughts about preaching? Please comment below and share this article with others.

For more helpful articles on preaching visit my news page.

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