Fresh Preaching

Bruce Mawhinney on sermon preparation:

What use will it be to learn the principles of fresh preaching if you never have time to use them? Knowing what to do and not having the time to do it will only add to your discouragement. You must break that vicious circle. Right now you are spending too much time doing many good things and not enough time doing the one best thing that you’ve been called to do. Remember the first step to fresh preaching is making the commitment to do whatever it takes to get there…

Most of us started out in the ministry with the fear that we’d run out of things to say after the first seven minutes of a 25-minute message. You probably studied and prepared harder and longer for the sermon during those early years than you ever have since…

The longer you are in the same place the more deliberate you must work to preach with freshness. You have to dig deeper in order to say more and say it differently. Don’t try to rely on the inspiration of the moment. That is gambling on the Spirit of God to pick up the slack in your preparation. There is a big difference between preaching in faith that relies on the Spirit and preaching that gambles on the Spirit.

The other thing that happens to the young preacher as time goes by is that a certain smoothness comes with the experience of the years. That smoothness has a more professional sound to it, but it may also bring with it a certain dullness. There’s nothing that keeps you more alert than listening to unpolished young preachers. You never know what will come out of their mouths next! That’s one of the reasons I found homiletics so enjoyable. It’s much more fun than listening to all those smooth talking professionals.