Preaching Sermons Effectively Is Hard Work

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Preaching sermons effectively is part of the science and art of preaching described here in our web site. The question is, can anyone deliver a sermon? And even if they can, can they deliver it well? Yes, that's a trick question or two, but I will try to answer them later.

Preaching Styles

Some think that one's success in preaching sermons has to do with their particular preaching style. And though a certain style may be more popular than another to a particular audience, that is not the final determining factor.

I think there are three major styles and all have been used successfully in preaching sermons. More on delivery styles later.

In general, sermon delivery involves what we say and how we say it, but there is an intangible in the effective art of preaching that we must not overlook.

The old-timers called it "unction" and unction comes from God only after we have spent much time with Him. It comes not from the preacher's study but from the preacher's prayer closet.

E. M. Bounds in "The Preacher and Prayer" said, "This unction is the art of preaching. The preacher who never had this unction never had the art of preaching. The preacher who has lost this unction has lost the art of preaching.

Whatever other arts he may have and retain--the art of sermon-making, the art of eloquence, the art of great, clear thinking, the art of pleasing an audience--he has lost the divine art of preaching. This unction makes God's truth powerful and interesting, draws, and attracts, edifies, convicts, saves."

Charles Spurgeon says, "I wonder how long we might beat our brains before we could plainly put into word what is meant by preaching with unction. Yet he who preaches knows its presence, and he who hears soon detects its absence."

So, what is involved in the actual delivery of the sermon material?

Preaching Materials

There is the delivery of the sermon introduction.
How one starts the message sets the pace for the whole message. Does it actually introduce the message? Are you excited about what your are preaching or not?

Is it important or just useless information that you are about to present? What is your tone? What is your sense of urgency? How you begin is important. More on the delivering the introduction later.

Then there is the delivery of the sermon content.
The content must be presented. Any questions raised must be answered and any promises made must be fulfilled. But how do you accomplish that without losing the audience? 

Someone once said that if preaching sermons was just the preaching of the introduction and the conclusion he would be a great preacher. More on the delivery of the content later.

Then there is the delivery of the sermon conclusion.
The conclusion wraps up the sermon in a tidy package. It tells your hearers what you said, why you said it, how it applies to them, and what they are supposed to do with it. More on the delivery of the conclusion later.

Preaching Presentations

There is the language presentation.
Language is very important in preaching. Is the language proper or as you have heard before, do we "slaughter the King's English?" More on language presentation later.

There is the oral presentation.
The oral presentation is more than just the language used. It is how the language is used. More on the language presentation later.

There is the physical presentation.
We definitely speak with our body or we are silent with our body. Well, you can't be completely silent or you wouldn't open your mouth. More on the oral presentation later.

There is the spiritual presentation.
This is the "unction" I spoke of earlier. Once again E. M. Bounds said, "Unction is that indefinable, indescribable something which an old, renowned Scotch preacher describes thus:

'There is sometimes somewhat in preaching that cannot be ascribed either to matter or expression, and cannot be described what it is, or from whence it cometh, but with a sweet violence it pierceth into the heart and affections and comes immediately from the Lord; but if there be any way to obtain such a thing, it is by the heavenly disposition of the speaker.'"
More on the spiritual presentation later.

Preaching sermons is hard work. It is not only what we say (Our truth or God's truth?) and how we say it (From the head or from the heart?), but it is also who says it (A sermon maker or a saint maker? A preaching man only or a praying man as well?)

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