How to prepare and present your sermon effectively?

Previously I shared with you the importance of preparation in Preaching Ministry. Today I will share with you a few tips on preparation as well as presentation.

How to Prepare the Sermon?

If you want to present your sermon well you need to prepare well. Here are few tips on preparation.

1. Spiritual Preparation

Spend time in prayer: ask God what He would have you to preach. If it doesn’t burn hot in your own heart, you’ll never kindle the fire in anyone else’s heart. Determine two things up front. First, what do you want to say? (The Proposition: in one sentence) Second, what do you want the hearer to do? (Will determine your closing.)

2. Academic Preparation

A. Are you going to preach or teach? When you teach, you emphasize on information. When you preach, your emphasis is on motivation. There may be a little of each in both, but one must dominate.

B. Research is an important part of academic preparation. Use plenty of research material (document what you say). Your material may include but not limited to Commentaries, Bible dictionaries, Concordance, Bible software, Internet and even the Local Library!

C. Finally put the material in order: First, Catchy title; Second, A riveting introduction: (The hook); Third, A meaningful scripture reading: (The book); Then a 3-4 point well-organized outline (The look). Finally A relevant application/invitation (The took)

How to Present the Sermon?

It doesn’t matter how well you have prepared your sermon as long as the presentation is poor. Given below are few tips on presentation.

1. Communicate not just Speak

A. Avoid monotone: Soft monotone puts people to sleep while Loud monotone causes people to tune you out. Inability to hear angers people. Let your voice fluctuate.

B. Use pauses effectively: silence communicates! Use comedy generously; but only with a purpose.

C. Generate audience response: Not to feed your ego. Simply because it forces them to be involved in your message. (Have them read your scripture with you, complete your statement for you, Give them a fill-in-the-blank outline, Use an audience member in an illustration [Get his permission first])

2. Avoid the Pitfalls in Presentation

A. Don’t try to present too much material: better one point remembered than a dozen soon forgotten.

B. Avoid vagueness: Let there be no doubt about what you are trying to say. Be specific in your goals: No one should leave wondering what it is that you wanted them to do.

C. Don’t be afraid to be emphatic: The people are there because they want you to challenge them; they want you to hear from God for them.

3. Work with the Holy Spirit

A. Be sensitive to the moving of the Holy Spirit: Be ready to stop when He says to stop. If He is moving you, He is moving them! If He knocks, He’s got a better invitation than you do.

B. The anointing of the Holy Spirit: Last but not least, the anointing of the Holy Spirit is any Preacher’s most valuable asset. Preaching is not a task you can do without the anointing.

C. Give glory to God: Every preacher knows when he has rung the bell and when he has not. But God makes the difference. (“If you’d a gone up the way you came down, you’d come down the way you went up!”)


Nobody can become a master Preacher overnight. It takes practice. I just shared with you a few things you can practice in your everyday preaching ministry. Use them.

Image: VCU Proselytizing
Taken from Dr. Arnold Lastinger’s Teaching Notes.

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