9 Thoughts on Preaching Good Sermons

I like good preaching.

The older I get, the more I appreciate the various styles and giftings of all God’s speaking servants. My appreciation for preachers and good preaching causes me to want to be and do better. I’m not fooling around either by telling you that God likes good preaching too. He has brought His salvation to many believers through the gifted foolishness of preaching (see 1 Corinthians 1:18-25).


In the spirit of appreciation, I trust you’ll enjoy these nine thoughts on preaching good sermons.

  1. A preacher that truly loves God’s Word and people is a joy to hear. “Sound preaching arises out of two loves – love of the Word of God and love of people – and from them both a desire to show people God’s glorious grace” (Timothy Keller). Graceful is a good way to describe sound preaching.
  2. Some situations reguire a shorter message and there’s nothing unspiritual about that. It has taken me more time and effort to prepare to preach a shorter message, but in these settings, less becomes more. I confess that some of my shorter sermons have been more profound than many of my lengthier ones.
  3. Pastors should use caution about incessantly repeating their personal stories as illustrations. Congregants can get weary of always hearing about the greatness of your family. Eyes will roll and minds will wander.
  4. We should not compare ourselves with other preachers. Each of us has a different set of unique experiences, a personalized education, and skillful gifts from which to preach. Let each one give THEIR utmost for HIS glory.
  5. Sanctification and holiness should be an integral part of every preacher’s vocabulary. You never need be ashamed to teach the biblical balance. “Sanctification is too wonderful a gift of God for it to suffer from silence” (Dr. Terry Tramel).
  6. Very few people will really understand your efforts and appreciate the sermon’s value. However, you should still approach your preparation with excellence and then preach with passion. God sees and He will reward your faithfulness.
  7. Shepherd, use the truth of God’s Word as your chief tool because only it has the power to keep your flock whole. “It is better to speak the truth that hurts and then heals, than a falsehood that comforts and then kills” (Adrian Rogers). Tell them the truth, then pray for and with them.
  8. If there ever was such a thing as a perfect sermon, I doubt we’d all agree on it. Every person has varied learning styles which move them and different ideas about what constitutes good preaching. Seek to please God with your sermons and He will help you deal with the other consequences.
  9. A well-placed and concise conclusion is the most important and often overlooked part of the message. Finish well. Your listeners will appreciate you for it.

I’ll take that last point to heart and conclude my thoughts with a lifehack. Using this list to grade the next sermon you hear could be described as foolish behavior. Let’s allow each preacher to prayerfully examine their own self and sermon.

Which one of these thoughts really got your attention? Share with me in the comments, and remember to pray for your preaching friends. We need it, and we will all benefit from your prayers.

14 thoughts on “9 Thoughts on Preaching Good Sermons

  1. Enjoyed your article as usual
    The one about nine thoughts about preaching good sermons, is really good.
    #2,5,7 was my favorite, although I saved them all for future reference
    Thanks again for your articles
    Pastor Susan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you fo stopping by to comment after reading. I like feedback. You are correct. Personal illustrations do help. However, in this point I am referring to repeatedly using personal stories that always paint the pastor’s family as good, great, and gracious. Using such personal life illustrations should be seen as a privilege and care should be used to not abuse that privilege. The peace of the Lord be with you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • We were told that you never tell personal stories where you as the pastor are the hero. It sounds arrogant, especially if done often. It is better to tell a self-depricating story and let someone else look good.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Ending the sermon well is sometimes my biggest challenge. Too often I find myself spending more time providing an appropriate opening in hopes of grabbing their attention and not enough time shutting the door.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does take some practice and often a thought out plan helps. As a guest preacher I often will ask ahead of time who will come to play when I close. I want to coordinate with that person when possible.

      As a local church pastor, when I had guest preachers I always prayed for them to know when they were done and to be able land the plane. The plane shouldn’t simply run out of fuel and fall out of the air. I had my pianist stay on stage and her cue was to start playing low and slow as soon as she heard my phrasing, “in closing” or “in conclusion” and my hand was then called. That forced my to slow down my words and bring it home. I’d often either summarize my points or repeat the main point (sermon in a sentence) and final application. Then ask them to stand with specific direction as to the invitation.

      Thanks for reading and sharing here. Feedback is always appreciated.


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