Do I think you should try to preach without notes?
Yeah, I do. At least try it.
The reason it makes me more effective is because it communicates to the congregation that this message is embedded in my head and heart.
And I love it because there is nothing in my life that causes me to trust the Holy Spirit more than the 40 minutes every week when I’m preaching and all my prep work is 20 minutes away in my home office.
But in the end? You need to be yourself.
All I’m encouraging you to do is to explore the possibilities that might bring more of you to life as you preach.
3. Understand how you grab people’s attention.
There are multiple ways to start a sermon.
Tell a story. Make it funny. Make it dramatic.
Report on a current event.
Summarize a previous sermon or series of sermons.
Which preaching style is the right way?
Whichever way most naturally suits you.
If you’re a great storyteller, tell great stories.
If you can effectively recap last week’s message and build a bridge to today’s sermon, make it happen.
If you can say things with an uncommon intensity, bring the thunder.
Certainly, the context of your text and/or topic should play a significant role in determining how you start a sermon.
But don’t discount what you do best as a communicator.
4. Evaluate every sermon you preach.
One of my favorite questions to ask preachers is ‘how do you evaluate your sermons?’
I always learn a lot from the different ways that someone looks back and determines the effectiveness of their sermon.
I also know that most preachers don’t consistently evaluate their sermons. And those who do often create something that is either too complex or pays attention to relatively minor issues.
If you’re looking for a simple way to evaluate a sermon, use these three questions:
- What was the best part of the sermon?
- If you could do it again, what would you have done differently?
- On a scale of 1-10, how effective was the sermon?
Let me say something about that last question. If I’m using that to evaluate myself, I’m comparing this sermon to past sermons that I’ve preached. And I consider a ‘5’ to be a normal sermon. So a ‘4’ or a ‘6’ isn’t a bad sermon; it just means that it’s an average Matt Adair sermon.
Can you ask more questions? Sure. And you might need to if you have a particular aspect of preaching you want to focus on. But I use this with our preaching team and it has been very, very effective.
Do the Next Right Thing
To learn more about what it takes to build a Sermon Delivery System, download our FREE resource, The 3 Systems You Need To Preach Better Sermons.
It will help you evaluate your preaching and provide clear next steps to help you continue to grow in your preaching style.
This article on developing a preaching style originally appeared here.