BIBLE KNOWLEDGE: Be mighty in the scriptures (Acts 18.24). Strive to know what is in each chapter, especially the New Testament.
A MAIN POINT: It is all too easy to preach without making a main point. I was admonished, “What tree are you after? Don’t just chop off branches. Get the tree chopped down.”
CLARITY: It is a tremendous virtue to be able to speak clearly, that is, with clarity of thought, as it is written, That I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak (Col. 4.4). How can the hearer be edified by an uncertain sound? (1 Cor. 14.8). Wisdom in what to say and how to say it is so desirable. The Spirit of God accompanies wisdom, as it is written,They were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking (Acts 6.10).
ILLUSTRATIONS: This indeed helps to clarify the meaning. They are flowers on the table. They are windows to the building. They are pictures for the memory to take back home. Look at the Lord’s example in using parables. Hear His challenge, How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? (Mark 4.30).
SIMPLICITY: Use the text as your outline as much as possible. Go right down the flow. It a great help to the hearer to be able to feel comfortable, to feel he is getting it. The hearer wants to enjoy each word of the text.
BREVITY: It is devilish to wear down the saints (Daniel 7.25). It takes a good deal of skill to be brief and concise. It takes holiness to be brief. To the degree you know self-denial, you will be able to be brief. A proud man enjoys hearing himself (Jude 16). The insecure must talk. Yet, God can be in long sermons, Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brethren with a lengthy message (Acts 15.32).
TO THE HEART: Real communication is supreme. Look everyone in the eye (Proverbs 20.8, Mark 3.5, Acts 3.4). The saints don’t want a show, they want sincerity and substance, For a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears (Act 20.31). Be more concerned about getting something in (to their hearts), than getting something out (of your mouth). Notes? Too much paper can put out the fire.
BOLDNESS: If you stand and apologize and hesitate, stay seated. Anything less than confidence, boldness, and authority is unworthy of the ministry of the word of God (Acts 4.31, 2 Corinthians 3.12, Ephesians 6.19, 1 Thessalonians 2.2). But don’t fake it. Performance is for the actors. Rash statements are marks of the insecure.
DON’T SCOLD: That is what sadly got Moses in trouble (Numbers 20.10). Trust God to get the job done. Look at souls as precious, as friends. Stephen’s face before enemies was like that of an angel (Acts 6.15). Just seek to be a servant, a helper. Sure, there is a time for anger, but alas, anger is rarely pure (Mark 3.5, James 1.20). The joy of the Lord is New Covenant ministry. As the saying goes, “A dull tour guide betrays the majesty of the mountains.”
THE POWER OF GOD: It is so different to have the Spirit’s help and liberty – utterance (Luke 4.18, Acts 4.31, 1 Corinthians 2.4). Diligence is generally involved to be ready to speak – prayed up, read up, and filled up. And do what you can do to get out of yourself when speaking. Get self to zero. Get free. Stop, pray, quit, or something. It is all an adventure.
- Bob Jennings, a novice