When you are preparing for preaching, one must edit the sermon. One must take a very close look at the sermon and rewrite it. Henry Mitchell has written a very important article on this very subject that you can find in Best Advice for Preaching. I would encourage all new preachers to get this book.
Henry Mitchell provides some things that the preacher should refine and revise in the editing process. These are:
When you edit your sermons, think about these aspects as suggested by Henry Mitchell.
Before you are ready to preach a sermon, you should edit and polish your sermon. One of the few articles that address sermon polishing is Henry Mitchell’s. He has written a in the John McClure edited book Best Advice for Preaching. I generally speak of editing and polishing a sermon in terms of 3 edits. You might look at each of these edits as a different dimension of a comprehensive edit of the sermon manuscript.
First one should do a theological edit. Here we make sure that what we are saying about God is what we wish to say about God.
Second we should do a rhetorical edit. The glory of the African American pulpit is its great oratory. Here we should explicitly attempt to speak poetically. Remember that you are writing for the ear and not the eye. Look at your images. Can you speak of them more poetically? Can you use a better image that is more vibrant? As noted above J. Alfred Smithâ€™s work can be helpful here.
Finally we need a grammatical edit. When completing the other edits try not to allow spelling or grammar to deter you. But on this edit you want to ruthlessly eliminate the grammatical and spelling errors that have entered into your sermon.