Pitfalls to Preaching the Message

The http://soulpreaching.org/wordpress/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=377#post_nameBible Preaching website has a post up on two traps that can work against your preaching moment.

Don’t Overqualify


These are two problems that I have seen many preachers fall into virtually limiting the effectiveness of the sermon. The first is not to overqualify.

We have all heard preachers read a text that forms the basis of the sermon and then immediately back off of the plain teachings of the text. Certainly, as Mead states, there is a time to clarify the message, but if we are not careful we can end up with a sermon that makes no claims. I love it when a preacher gets up there and says something. I do not always agree, and all of us are fallible and will make mistakes, but I think it is better to say something and be wrong some times than to say nothing and be an irrelevant waste of everybody’s time.

Don’t Over Teach

I agree totally with Mead here. Some of us have heard sermons where the preacher attempts to answer every possible objection to the message. The sermon drones on and on never getting past an academic exercise where the research ability of the preacher is showcased.

Avoiding the Traps

I think there are a few things that can help us get over these two traps. First we preachers should have a behavioral purpose to the sermon as Henry Mitchell states. We want the people to do something or believe something as a result of our sermon. And secondly, we want to eliminate anything that is not in line with that behavioral purpose.

So we don’t overqualify because we are only saying what is necessary for our behavioral purpose. It will detract from the point of our sermon. We also won’t fall into the trap of over teaching because we are only saying what we need to say for that purpose. In short, preach the word with the purpose of changing lives instead of teaching a lecture with some other purpose.

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Sherman Haywood Cox II

Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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