The Four Be’s of Preaching
Below is a summary of four of the most important things to remember when preparing a sermon.
- Be Biblical – It should go without saying that your message should be solidly based on Scripture. Unfortunately, in this day and age it does need to be said. I cannot tell you how many sermons I have heard that are based on opinion, culture, or entertainment, with only scant mention of Scripture. If the Bible is not the foundation of your preaching, you are not preaching, you’re just giving a speech.
- Be Intentional – I’m sure you’ve heard the old joke about the preacher who “went everywhere preaching the Gospel.” The reference is to preachers who cannot stay on point and go chasing rabbits throughout their message. There should be one main purpose to every sermon you preach, even if there are several points to the message that help you to convey that purpose. Read through the teachings of Jesus and you will discover, without fail, He always had one purpose and He never wavered from it – not even once!
- Be Relational – You must move from the text to the lives of your hearers. Scriptural preaching without application is only taking your audience to the halfway point. You must explain to your listeners how the text applies to their everyday lives and then challenge them to make that application. We want to take people from knowing the truth, to living the truth.
- Be Brief – While I’m sure to get some disagreement from this statement, in most situations you should not preach for more than 30 minutes. If you cannot get your message across in that amount of time, you might want to rewrite your sermon, or split it into a short series. While we might not have the full text of Jesus’ sermons, we know that what we do have are very brief, to the point sermons which honor the time of those He was speaking to.
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list, but it should help you to better plan your sermons and can be used as a grid through which you test your messages to see if they fit this pattern. I can guarantee you that if you actually apply these four “be’s” to your sermons you will see a dramatic increase in the response of your listeners.
I’d love to hear your comments below!
Barry L. Davis spent two decades as a Senior Pastor and started the ministry of The Pastor’s Helper in 1997. The Pastor’s Helper strives to provide tools and resources to help pastors succeed in their ministry calling. His latest book is God-Driven Leadership: A Call to Seeing, Believing, and Living in Accordance with Scriptural Principles.