Dedicated and conscientious preachers are never satisfied with their preaching. They want to keep improving. To do this, I suggest the following:
- Try to improve one area of your preaching at a time. For example, if your introductions are weak, take the next month and dedicate your focus on developing that aspect of your sermons. If you feel your sermons lack illustrations, work hard within the following month to improve your illustration repertoire. If a lack of humor is your weak area, make it a goal in the next month to progress in that. It’s much more difficult to work on every area of preaching at the same time than it is to work on one area at a time.
- Solicit feedback. Ask someone you trust to be honest about your strong and weak points in each sermon for a set period of time. Having that feedback week to week can be a huge help. Be certain, though, that you tell them when you want that feedback. Some preachers feel so wiped out after a message that they don’t want to hear what is right or wrong about it that same day. Instead, they want feedback a few days later. Others want the feedback as soon as possible. Do yourself and others a favor by telling them when you want the feedback.
- Listen to communicators you know and respect. By listening to effective communicators, you improve your own presentation. My mentor, Dr. Haddon Robinson was a tremendous communicator. I listened to every message of his I could find. Listening to those messages and even talking with him about what went through his mind as he developed certain ideas was a great help.
In any profession, knowing where you can improve and working hard to do so helps you excel. The preaching profession is no different. As long as you remain teachable and follow the three tips above, you’ll become the best preacher you can be.