In the last two articles we have seen how to preach Bible stories by using running narrative, and why preachers should be transparent in their sermons. Let’s see another tip that can transform your delivery:
3. Keep It Biblical, Balanced, and Brief
The Word of God is what you want to preach. A definition of preaching that I heard from Bill Rice III is: “Teaching from a point of authority with the purpose to persuade.” There are obviously three key words in this definition: teaching, authority, and persuasion. Those are the three key elements to good preaching.
First of all is teaching. You may say, “I’m more of a preacher than a teacher.” This is inaccurate. You are thinking of delivery style rather than content. You have not preached unless you have taught something. If you have not taught the Word of God, you haven’t preached a thing. Preaching will always have teaching involved with it. That’s the biblical and balanced part.
Next is authority—that’s the Word of God. Your authority will always be the Word of God. You may have great illustrations and delivery, but your authority to preach comes from God’s Word—that means God’s Word must be in your preaching. It may only be one verse, but that is your point that you’re coming from, the point of authority.
We sometimes struggle with the last part, persuasion. There is a reason that we just taught from a point of authority: to persuade the audience to make a decision to change their life. There is something that they are going to do because of what they just got. We cannot lose that. If you keep it biblical, balanced, and brief, it will do a lot.
Another thing about balance is found in 2 Timothy 3:16. What are the four things the Bible is profitable for? Doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. Those are the four elements.
Have you ever heard someone say, “Man, that guy just hit a home run with that sermon!” Let me tell you what a home run should be: when you hit and touch all four bases on that hit. A home run message should include doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.
Don’t just look at preaching from a delivery standpoint. Let’s say somebody walked past a window of a room where they thought a preacher was giving a message, and they saw him up front making wild gestures, red in the face, running around, huffing and puffing as he delivers his speech to the audience. They would think “Whoa! Is that guy preaching or what!” So they walk in, and hear a sales pitch to buy a certain product. They would get a different perspective of what was really going on.
Preaching is not all about yelling and shouting and being excited. Preaching is doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. A home run message is determined from these four things. That’s balanced preaching.