Three simple ways to spice up your preaching
"Sunday comes every seven days, whether I am ready or not," is a truth for every preacher. The task of preaching is unrelenting. When you finish on Sunday you begin the whole process over again on Monday. And you do it week in and week out, because Sunday comes with recurring frequency. As a result, it's easy for your preaching to become stale and predictable.
How can you spice it up?
1. Try something new.
Your preaching is the one thing you can change in your church and get away with it.
- Preach a monologue.
- Turn the order of worship around and preach near the beginning of the service. Even if you preach your same style it will be perceived as new.
- Preach as a biblical character complete with costume.
- Vary your primary style periodically.
- Expository preachers need to preach a narrative occasionally and vice versa.
2. Incorporate visuals.
We are a visual society. Use banners that coordinate with your sermon or sermon series. Employ props. Many sermons would be well suited to use an object to illustrate the main point. For example:
- If you are talking about money have a suitcase with money pouring out of it.
- The woman at the well story would be well served with a pitcher of water.
- Sermons on light, salt, or fishing for men all are easily connected with a corresponding physical object.
- Old quilts, books, and photographs were displayed when I preached on leaving a legacy.
- Helium-filled balloons were tied around the sanctuary to emphasize celebration in a recent sermon.
Another visual, if you have the equipment, is the use of video.
- You can use clips from appropriate movies, television shows, etc.
- E-ssentials For the On Mission Church from the North American Mission Board and mediaLINK has great clips to highlight sermons and special emphases.
- Videotape people in your church regarding a particular issue or topic to incorporate in your sermon. This works well with marriage, stewardship, salvation sermons, and many more.
3. Involve the audience.
Not only is our society more visual, they seek experiences.
- How can you engage your people in the sermon?
- What can you have them say or do or feel or hold that will draw them into the sermon?
- I have given people small rocks to hold when I preached on David taking down Goliath with a rock from his sling.
- When I preached on Moses before the burning bush, I reminded the people that this place was holy ground, so I asked them to remove their shoes for the remainder of the service.
- Sometimes when I preach on trusting God with one's finances I asked the people to give their wallet or purse to their neighbor to hold during the sermon. (This one really keeps people awake.)
- Often, I ask people to repeat certain key words throughout the sermon.
Many ways exist for you to spice up your preaching. As a caution, the purpose is not to be cute or funny, but to be memorable. Preaching does not have to be cold and boring. Breathe new life into your sermons with creativity.