Preparing Your Sermon for Preaching – Editing and Polishing
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.