By Victor Ochieng
Not every preacher out there is called by God. If you’re not, it’s better to consider your calling and stick to it; God knows pretty well why that isn’t your calling. But then again, even those who are called learn new things over time. They start from small steps and grow along the way.
Most preachers start on a wrong footing. While some choose to learn and change their approaches, some turn their false start into pulpit habits; not being ready to pick up new and more effective approaches to sharing the word.
Some of the errors some new preachers make are as below:
1. Unnecessary Introductions
The best introductions do two things – grab the listener’s attention and pulls them down the proposition or passage. Ensure you have a clear and concise introduction. Don’t say too much to the extent that you kill your audience’s curiosity. The simple question your introduction should answer is: Why should you listen to this passage?
2. Damp Illustrations
If you’re going to use an illustration in your sermon, be careful that you’re not predictable. It takes work to know which illustration would work best for your audience and for a given sermon. That means you must develop an eye for illustrations, know how to remember them and deliver them powerfully in a manner that makes your listeners want to know the outcome.
3. Hero Singing
As a preacher, it’s important to know that all glory and honor is to God. When you spend too much time talking about yourself or your church, you end up giving the impression that your personal achievements and abilities take the center stage. However, the central message of every sermon and illustration should be Christ Jesus. Let each and every person feel compelled to draw closer to Christ after the sermon.
4. Too Much Use of “Gospel”
Many young preachers drop the word “gospel” in their sermons one too often. This may appear harmless, but it sounds more like using a word to describe itself. If you’re sharing a word, repeated use of the word gospel doesn’t make it more gospel-centered. Let the Bible take the center stage and use many other avenues available to drive your point home.
5. Aimless Explanations
Many preachers fall victim to this. They open the Bible, read a verse or two and then start giving their own explanations of the passage, talking about their ideas, understanding and the interesting experiences they’ve had in relation to the passage. Yet, however, it’s actually the Word that’s supposed to give direction. When you want to explain a scripture, let a verse direct you to another verse so that everything is drawn from the scriptures. That encourages your listeners to also learn to study the Bible more extensively so that they fully understand how the Bible explains itself.
6. Needless Humor Grabs
At times, young preachers try to copy how some of their favorite preachers share the Word. Some preachers would share the Word and maybe make their audience laugh. Then there are some young speakers who try to do the same with some comments that are fully out of context and character. This is often done by preachers who feel they need a bit of their wit and human abilities to make their sermons more interesting. Far from it. Stick to your lane; embrace your God-given abilities and remain unique as God has enabled you. Remember that your listeners will withdraw as soon as they realize you’re not being yourself.
7. Feedback Phobia
Many young preachers want to know the impact of their sermons but fear feedback. There is no better way to grow than to listen to feedback. For example, if you’re a new preacher being raised in your church, it’s important to have a word with the leadership that’s raising you just to know what they think of your sermon; areas they think you should improve on and how you managed time and delivery.