Know Your Audience

10 Tips to Transform Your Teaching—Part 8

In the last seven articles we have seen how to preach Bible stories by using running narrative, why preachers should be transparent in their sermons, the importance of keeping your sermons biblical, balanced, and brief, why you must let your sermons change you before preaching them to others, how to unlock Bible passages with word studies, the importance of preaching for decisions, and how to use word pictures in your preaching. Let’s see the last two tips in this series that can transform your delivery:

9. Know Who You Are Teaching

The pastor who knows his people is going to communicate with his people better. Why? Because he knows their heart. Shortly after coming to Lancaster Baptist Church I was amazed at how well Pastor Chappell knows his people. I would bring up a name thinking, “He’s not going to know this guy in my Sunday school class,” but he would stop and tell me all about that guy or his family, and I would just stand there amazed. But that is what makes a preacher effective.

When I go to a camp, I want to get to know the young people immediately. If I go on a hike with them, or go swimming with them or go on the big swing with them, I am going to know how to preach to them that night. The better you dwell with your people in your church, the more effective you will be when you preach to them. When missionaries have to come back from the field, it is often because they couldn’t communicate with the people; they didn’t learn the culture of the people and how to relate to them well.

Knowing your people is one of the most important parts of your ministry as a preacher—are you purposeful about it?

10. Passion Produces Power

Nothing was ever accomplished without enthusiasm. Jeremiah 20:9 says , “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” Jeremiah says, “I tried not to preach, but I couldn’t help myself. It just burned inside of me.” We must have a passion to preach, and we must preach passionately.

Realize, however, that you cannot be passionate about everything. If you emphasize everything in your sermon, the end result is that nothing is emphasized. If you have four points, pick your passion point. What is the one truth that you want to leave with them? At the end of your message, everyone should know what you were passionate about.

These tips will transform your preaching. Which one will you begin using this week?

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