How can a preacher help his congregation to be dependent on the Word, and not his own personality?
- Don’t spend too much time trying to be funny. It’s tempting to rely on humor to make an emotional connection with your congregation, but you should resist the urge. When humor “happens,” fine. But be careful: if you train your people to expect humor, that’s what they’ll desire instead of God’s Word.
- Don’t be clever. It’s not bad to craft a memorable sermon outline or find punchy ways to say things. But if you consistently communicate in a way that highlights your cleverness and creativity, people may hear more of your cleverness than of God’s Word.
- Don’t emotionally manipulate. While touching stories can appropriately bring a biblical passage to life, beware of leaning too heavily on people’s emotions in order to make your point.
- Make it plain. Preach simply, straightforwardly, and directly. Preach straight to your hearers’ minds, hearts, and wills.
- Exalt God. Proclaim the greatness of God’s grace so singlemindedly that your people will be so taken up with God that they forget about you.