Preaching is the art of communicating divine truth through human personality. A preacher is essentially a communicator. He receives truth from God and communicates it effectively to others.
God gives the revelation; man provides the presentation. In order to do this effectively, you as a preacher should consider the following:
1. Communion with God. The preacher must learn how to be still in the presence of God. It is good to make a habit of spending time in God’s presence. Set aside a portion of each day to enter the presence of God and wait patiently on Him. You will soon learn how to recognize the voice of God speaking quietly to you.
Rushing into His presence with an urgency which “needs a sermon for tomorrow” is certainly not an attitude of a heart that can receive the wonderful truths of God. We should allow truth an opportunity to have its effect on us before we endeavor to share it with others.
2. Bible in hand. Make time to sit quietly and patiently before God and His Word. Ask for illumination on His Word. Prayerfully seek out the counsel, wisdom, and instructions of the Lord in His Word. Spread out the Bible before you and read it in God’s presence.
Sometimes it is good to follow a regular pattern of reading, beginning where you left off the previous day. This helps you to go consistently through the Bible instead of reading here and there and neglecting large portions of the Scriptures. At other times, you may seek some prompting of the Spirit as to where you should read. In this way, you do not get in a rut.
3. Feed your soul. Try to avoid the attitude that seeks a word from God so that you can preach about it on Sabbath morning. Avoid looking for spiritual bullets that you can fire at someone. Recognize the primary need of your own heart. Let God deal with your heart first through His Word and by His Spirit. Let the Word wash and cleanse you first.
It is important for you to feed your own soul. One of the traps that a preacher can fall into is to be so intent on finding food for the congregation that his or her spiritual welfare is neglected. Let the Word of God take root in your heart and spirit. Let it grow strong in your personal life and experience. Then, when you preach, you will minister out of experience. You will not be speaking as one with a theory; rather, you will be sharing things which you yourself fully comprehend and have experienced.
The Bible says, “The hard-working farmer must be first to partake of the crops” (2 Tim. 2:6, NKJV). From this verse, we learn that what you plant and harvest (in a spiritual sense), you must partake of (experience) before feeding others. You should never feed others what you have not first eaten. You should not try to guide others down paths and trails you have not first walked yourself.
As the Word of God becomes incarnate, you will then become a messenger from God. You will not be one who merely recites sermons; you will be one whose life and lifestyle ministers, blesses, and strengthens those who know and hear you.