Sermon does not end with it’s preparation but in it’s delivery and response. A well prepared sermon can be delivered in a boring manner. Preaching is the proclamation of the Word. It is not about reading our script. As such, preachers do well if they are well prepared for delivery and response of the sermon.
My purpose here is not to talk about the part on sermon preparation. I would like to focus more on sermon delivery. Firstly, we need to be familiar with our script. The sermon must speak to us and convict us before we preach it to others. If we are not familiar, we will be pausing too often. We would not be able to build up a climax in our sermons.
Second, we need to project our voice and use it to give life to our preaching. We must not mumble but project our voice with gusto. We can create a stereo effect of our preaching by mastering a few techniques. We need to learn to go and pause, fast and slow, high and low, soft and loud. Though this maybe seen as a technique, but it can come naturally if we feel for our sermons. If we preach with our hearts, our passion will overflow and it will be felt. Our sermons will come alive.
Thirdly, don’t quote too many verses. Some preaching are like reading a series of verses. People are so sick of flipping to so many texts that they give up. Use sparingly. This is not a teaching seminar. Two to three supporting verses should be more than enough for each point. I would probably use less than that unless I am doing a topical sermon.
Fourthly, use analogy, testimonies and illustrations wisely. It’s good to use stories especially if they are used appropriately. Stories help us to remember the points more easily and they can convince the audience more easily too. Real life testimonies make the sermon real. The worst case is to make people feel that our sermons are too holy beyond their reach.
Fifthly, leave room for the Holy Spirit. Don’t be too strict to follow our script. Speak naturally and allow the Holy Spirit to add in new things in our sermons. Sometimes, the Spirit of God can just remind us of fantastic stories that speak a thousand words.
Lastly, know what kind of response we want to achieve. Don’t just end with a prayer without a challenge. God’s Word demands a response from us. Don’t just end it with a summary of our sermons. Go ahead to challenge people to commit to God.
My hope is that preachers would not bore people with the Word of God but to make it come alive for the Word of God is living and active.