Pastor, what’s God been speaking to you personally?
How has the Holy Spirit been working your sermon on your heart this week?
What has Scripture shown you about you (not just about your congregation)?
When you tell your congregation how God has been working on you, the Word comes alive. Because now they don’t see you as a perfect person preaching at them, but as a fellow traveler who’s hearing from God and learning on the journey just as they are.
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day; I’d rather one should walk with me than merely show the way. The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear; Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear. And the best of all preachers are the men who live their creeds. For to see the good in action is what everybody needs. I can soon learn how to do it if you’ll let me see it done; I can watch your hands in actions, but your tongue too fast may run. And the lectures you deliver may be very wise and true, But I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do. For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you give, But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live. (Edgar A. Guest)
“The preacher must throw his thought into his teaching. He must not weary the people by telling them the truth in a stale and unprofitable manner with nothing fresh from his own soul to give it force. Above all he must put heart work into preaching. He must feel what he preaches. It must be with him. It is never an easy thing. He must feel as if he could preach his very life away before the sermon is done.” ―Charles Spurgeon