5 Challenges From Preach Better Sermons

Yesterday’s free, 4-hour online preaching conference, Preach Better Sermons, was great. It will take some time to process it all, but here are five things that resonated with me …

1. Find your own voice and be who are.
It was great to see different styles among the presenters. At least two communicators (Mark Batterson and Pete Wilson) said they use manuscripts, a practice which doesn’t seem common (or recommended) anymore. More than one speaker cautioned against trying to preach like someone else, encouraging preachers to find their own unique voice and to be who God intends them to be.

2. Make the most of your prayer time just before preaching.
Prayer is a critical part of the sermon prep process, of course, but I loved the prayer routine Steven Furtick goes through just before he preaches. It was pretty intense. And somewhat quirky. His ritual involves scented anointing oil (I love Prayer Idiosyncrasies). I try to be intentional about my own prayer routine right before preaching (see my Desperate Preacher’s Prayer Guide), but after listening to Furtick, I will continue to do some work on my routine!

3. Show up every day.
Asked how he deals with writer’s block, Donald Miller talked about the daily discipline of writing. You never know when inspiration will come, and it’s more likely to come if you show up every day. Similarly, preachers must also develop the daily discipline of preparing. It reminds me that Elijah’s prayer during the showdown on Mount Carmel and Peter’s vision regarding Cornelius both took place during an “hour of prayer.” There’s something about showing up every day!

4. Check your motives.
Crawford Loritts said, “Don’t shoot to be the best preacher, but shoot to be a great preacher.” That’s a critical distinction, and an important reminder. One is competitive with others; the other seeks to honor God. Our goal cannot be to be the best, but to be the best we can be!

5. Focus on intimacy with God.
Crawford Loritts said, “You’ll never preach better than who you are.” Preaching isn’t just about developing and perfecting the right skills. The skills simply help us communicate what’s in our heart in the best way possible. The real power of preaching flows from a heart close to God!

These are five things that challenged me. Earlier this week, I wrote Preaching Requires Investment. This event was a great (and free) way to invest in your preaching!

Check out Preaching Rocket to learn more!

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