Keeping Your Preaching Fresh

Keeping Your Preaching Fresh

As noted last time, we have come to the end of the rather long series of posts on preaching about spiritual warfare.  We turn now to a new subject: keeping your preaching fresh for your hearers.

A Story About Fresh Preaching

  I was sitting in a group of people involved in ministry.  The subject of styles of preaching came up in the group.  One person talked about having a format as he planned his lessons each week.  As the discussion rambled for awhile, I finally suggested that I didn’t think I had a pattern.  At that point a staff member from my church said, “I think you do.”  He then went on to describe my pattern.  There would be an introduction, usually a story of some kind.  Then I would develop the idea introduced in 2 or 3 points.  A story usually would end the message.  I was a bit flabbergasted, because I realized the accuracy of what he said.  In his mind, I had become a somewhat boring preacher.

In many ways, that began thinking about keeping your preaching fresh for your hearers.

The Need

I try to engage with a network of preachers.  From them I have become freshly aware that preaching in a local church is more challenging than it was for most of my ministry.  Think about it.  If someone wants to access preachers with a national or international reputation for fine, uplifting preaching, all they need to do is turn on their computers.  The best preachers on the planet are available with a few clicks.  And interestingly, when people expect a great sermon, they are likely to rate a sermon more highly.

So why would people come to hear you preach?  What would make them come back the next week to hear you again?  Do they expect greatness or a mediocre presentation?

Admittedly, church is far more than the sermon.  In building a local church we are seeking to grow disciples through study, relationships, engaging in ministry, as well as reaching out into the community.  But worship is vital as the boiler room where programs and people remain energized and empowered.  That’s why we need about keeping your preaching fresh for your people.  Again, admittedly, worship is more than preaching, but in most churches preaching takes a central role.

The Expectation for Fresh Preaching

Having said all of that, let me also say that people who can access great preachers also have an expectation that your preaching will be great–or at least very good.  Keeping your preaching fresh will keep you from dealing with the dissatisfaction of people in your church.

I have not done a professional survey, but it seems from the people that I talk to that pastors are discouraged.  A recent survey by the George Barna group shows that 42% of pastors are considering leaving ministry, up 13% since 2021.

Many reasons were cited for this incredible statistic, but one that wasn’t mentioned was criticism by congregation members.  I know a few situations where pastors are sick and tired of criticism, and in a couple of those cases, preaching was a major target of the critics.

So, in the new few posts I want to explore how to go about keeping your preaching fresh both for yourself and for your people.


In anticipation, here is a YouTube video that discusses 4 tips to better public speaking.  This video is not directly related to preaching, but the points made are important for the preacher, just as they are important for all public speakers.