What Should I Preach ?
By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield
One of the most frequent questions I get especially from new minsters is how do they know what to preach. It can seem daunting at first. A new topic every week for the next several decades of their career. First of all nobody can handle a career’s worth of decisions all at once But I wanted to commit some ideas to paper for those who might find themselves stuck for a sermon topic.
PRAY- I can think of nothing that a minister does that should not begin with prayer anyway. When teaching God’s word we certainly should do so. I know of churches with special facilities just to pray for their pastor while he is preaching. So there is little doubt that preaching and pray go hand in hand.
OPEN YOUR BIBLE- After you have prayed. If you are stick stuck for a topic, open your Bible to any random spot and start reading. As you read to your congregation listen hard. I would not at all be surprised if the Holy Spirit starts to bring things to your mind through your heart. Believe it our not it is not unusual for me to change my sermon while I an giving it for just such a reason.
PREACH YOUR NEED-Recently I was talking to a minister who had just given his first sermon. I was telling him about the time I asked a group of ministers. My question to them was, how many had preached a sermon only to realize that they needed it as bad or worse than those they were preaching to. Several admitted that this very thing happened to them all the time. The teaching point here is “preach your need.” If you are struggling for a topic, think about your own spiritual needs. You might be amazed how many people in your congregation need to hear the same message !
BRING IT BACK TO THE CROSS- We can never go too far wrong by reminding people of what makes us as Christians unique. It is Christ’s sacrifice on the cross that makes what we believe different than every other faith on Earth. The Cross rightfully infuses everything we teach. So why not make that connection clear in our teaching ? Think about this from Steven J. Lawson’s book The Kind of Preaching God Blesses, “ We live in a time of severe drought for the proclamation of Jesus Christ and him crucified that is Spirit-empowered. There are few clouds in sight, and no rain is forecast.”
I have been saying for years that the Old Testament is under taught. You can’t truly understand what Christ did at Calvary unless you understand what went before. The entire Bible is about what happened at the cross. Try taking an old sermon and exploring how what you taught previously relates to Christ’s sacrifice for our sins.
HAVE A BACKUP OR TWO- Stuff happens in life. As ministers we are not immune to stuff happening in our lives. It can’t hurt when you have the time to prepare a backup sermon or two just in case. This will also equip you to better respond if a last minute preaching opportunity crops up.
Obviously these are not the only ways to decide what to preach. There may even be better ways out there. However it is my hope and prayer that I have been able to give you some much needed additional tools to aid your sermon preparation.
Posted on November 2, 2014, in Ministry and tagged Ministry, Ministry Resources, ministry training, Preaching, Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield, Sermon Preparation, sermons. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.