Wao! This is greatly impacting one me.
Reflectional wise, I have learned the importance of good sermon preparation before the actual presentation. In the first, I learned that good preaching isn’t a good dramatic fanfare or display of oratory prowess or parade of human knowledge. No. Preachers shouldn’t preach to win people’s applause, build a personal following or dispense theatrical gifting. Thus, our preaching is only good when it is Bible centered, in harmony with God’s whole truth. We are to prepare and present our sermons with the intention to reveal God’s love to people and retell them of His hate for sin; to draw people to God, get sinners saved, and keep believers growing in the faith; demonstrate the miracle power of God for the release of the captives, prepare the saints for the coming of Christ and lead souls to heaven.
Sermon Preparation involve both the physical and spiritual.
In spiritual preparation, praying and studying are majors. We should learn to seek the Lord’s face in prayer, study and meditation for some reasons which include getting His leading in obtaining the right topic for the sermon, obtaining direction as per the introduction, body and conclusion, and seeking His face for maximum spiritual impartations and miraculous effects on the congregation/hearers, among others. I learned from this course that it takes great sermon preparations to see great impartations in the congregation. We who minister the word should learn how to power with God in His presence, praying, studying and meditating before appearing before people. Good Bible studies revolves round Spirit inspired observation, interpretation, application and communication.
Physical preparation include getting good study Bible and other study aids. These aids such as Bible commentary, Bible dictionary, Amplifiers, Books authored by Godly, anointed ministers , Musical and Video messages, among others. Physical preparation also include personal practice of your prepared sermon outline right in your office or room. This personal presentation can be done before mirror for your own personal assessment and correction. It can also be before your spouse, kids or friend who should be asked to offer their own assessment.
Physical preparation also include the underlisted:
i. a good study of language meaning and pronunciation. You need good knowledge of the language you will be using. You might need to get use to the simple and basic vocabulary, how to speak it using short but uncomplicated sentences.
ii. practicing and mastering the art of public speaking. This has to do with purposeful communication. Thus you are to focus on your objective and draw your conclusion to achieve it. These will demand your uses of proper words in sermon presentation – to express your thoughts rightly. Employ proper speech and grammar, confidence and authority in assertion, good tone management and emotional involvement.
iii. Acts of meditative collation and insertion of useful and relevant didactic stories into the sermon during presentation. We need to know how to speak with authoritative illustrations, distinctly. It will help to add color to our messages. Good and relevant stories of events and happenings can be employed to illustrate points and ideas as we speak. Here we might need to pause briefly between sentences and avoid exaggeration.
iv.Uses of accurate gestures. Your gestures must be meaningful and relevant. We can employ anything that would make the message clear and meaningful to the listeners such as gestures, objects and pictures. In our gesturing, we should be mindful of our facial expression, hands and other bodily movement. All should be done correspondingly to your ideas and words and give communication clarity to your passion and actions. Every eye contact, facial expression, posture, body movement, emotional mimic, hands and arms demonstrations, finger pointing and others must naturally expressions of your passion and words. And here, we are warned to be ourselves here, natural and not mimicking another preacher.
v. Uses of pictures. We will often need to color our messages with good visual aids. Providing good visuals such as charts, colors, and clip art is necessary to win deeper attention, maximize impacts and help our listeners not to be forgetful. We need this to amplify the message and put more emphasis that will be memorable to the congregation.
I also learned that the vital features of any good sermon are the Biblical truth, clarity, passion, persuasive confidence and right application. The preacher needs be conscious of these features and get them along right from preparatory stage to the final presentation.
We were told the Scripture is the best place to start any good sermon preparation. It gives authority to the word being preached, encourage the hearers to search their Bible and offers divine principle for living. Having done with the Biblical text and sermon title here, we are to move to the introduction.
In sermon preparation and presentation, good introduction is very important. It should be designed to present the actual purpose of the sermon, often with sparkling anointing and emotional magnet. A good introduction would draw people into the presence of God and at the same time connect them to the actual, mainstream focus of the whole sermon,
We are to move from the introduction to the body of the sermon. This is the heart of the message and should be carefully attend. It should consists of the main divisions and sub-divisions, be logically and sequentially arranged, simple and direct, concise, potent and possibly illustrative.
Then we move to the conclusion, which should be a brief or summary of all that have been said. It should be done to arouse your audience to actions, to persuade them to act upon what they have heard so far. We should therefore offer restatement, and strike with passion that connect listeners to the proposition and move them to right decision making, Here, the application is necessary. The place of application is highly vital in sermon preparation and presentation. The preacher or teacher should apply his message to contemporary lives and issues to gain the ultimate results. The congregation need to know that the word being delivered has to do with their own lives and need be told how it could be applied to bring positive changes to their own very lives and experiences.
It will be best to always give an invitation to those who may have been touched and wanting to take decision for the Christ. The preacher should call to the altar those who want to obey the gospel in deciding for Jesus. It is one step toward decision making and the preacher needs to serve the invitation, lead them to Christ and prayer for them for healing, deliverance and miraculous.
John B. Joseph, Pastor