Imagine if the more years you preach, the fresher you become.
Instead of drifting towards being stale and predictable, your sermons become more dynamic and insightful as the years roll by.
Well, that really is possible if we know how to keep fresh in our preaching.
Here are three ideas I regularly use to keep fresh that you might find helpful:
1. Try a New Technique.
You could take on the adventure of finding a communication tip that you want to use. You can find this from preaching blogs or by listening to other communicators. Then aim to use it for four weeks in a row when you preach.
It could be adding in meaningful pauses, having a stronger introduction or improving your storytelling.
Having one idea, you try and use every week will add a focus and energy to your sermon preparation and delivery (and benefit your listeners).
My example: I remember when I took on the challenge of crafting a “bottom line” for each sermon.
A bottom line is a single sentence that encapsulates the message in an engaging and powerful way, such as “You discover who you are by discovering whose you are.”
Trying this out each week brought a new, fun edge to my sermon preparation. And surprisingly, rather than giving me more to do, I found that the extra challenge brought an energy and sharpness to my thinking.
2. Enjoy Some Study.
Why not pick a topic or Bible book that you will speak on in 6–9 months, and then give some time now to studying it for your own learning and enjoyment?
Don’t plan the sermon series yet, just learn about it. And most importantly, enjoy having your mind and heart stretched.
Check online reviews for the best commentary or book on the topic you will speak on. Then, allocate one morning a week or 30 minutes a day to studying.
You will then find new insights and learning to feed into your message when the time comes and won’t need to recycle the same ideas time and time again.
My example: I am currently reading a book on Jonah by Tim Keller. In the back of mind, I have the thought that I will preach from Jonah later this year. But at the moment I can just relax and enjoy learning without the pressure of sermon preparation.
3. Live It Out.
This is perhaps the most important suggestion.
Have one area of your life that you are learning how to be a disciple in.
It could be:
• Exploring becoming more generous
• Learning to forgive someone
• Taking on the challenge of sharing your faith
• Developing a deeper prayer life
Do some self-reflection, take some action, cooperate with the Holy Spirit and grow.
If you do this, I can almost guarantee that without even trying, you will find new wisdom and power seeping into your preaching and bring a new edge to what you say.
My example: Six months ago I felt God leading me to refocus my prayer life and through the suggestion of a friend I set up a dedicated corner of my bedroom as my prayer place.
So I set the corner up with a special chair, beautiful side table, candle to light and a meaningful picture. This was really effective at renewing my morning prayer time. When I was speaking on prayer recently, it offered the perfect illustration.
Keeping fresh is a long term journey, but with the right decision now it is a real possibility.
Which of the three suggestions most appeals to you?
How could you use it to keep fresh?
This article originally appeared on ProPreacher.com.