There is something about listening to a great preacher. A great preacher has distinct traits and applies methods that cause people to want to lean in and listen to everything they have to say. Here are four qualities that make up a great preacher:
1. Be authentic
Great preachers aren’t trying to be someone they’re not. They are comfortable in who they are. Great preachers are also the ones who genuinely believe in what they are saying. A key difference between a good preacher and a great preacher is whether or not they believe in everything they say. Indeed, there is nothing more powerful than preaching from your own strongly held convictions.
Ask yourself: Am I authentically being myself when I am preaching, or am I trying to be someone I’m not? And is this point I’m making something I’ve deeply convinced will help someone or is it just the latest thought that passed through my mind?
Certainly learn from other preachers, but also learn to project who you really are when you’re preaching.
2. Preach to the Mondays
Pastor Brian says, “I don’t want to preach to your Sunday. I want to preach to your Monday.” Great preachers preach useful messages. They talk about the Bible in all its supernatural and historical depth, but combine that with simple and applicable next steps for people to carry out throughout the week.
Ask yourself: Is what I’m preaching applicable and useful? Can people take this message and apply it to their lives tomorrow?
At the end of the day, preaching is all about helping people, not impressing people.
3. Be engaging
A great preacher is someone who doesn’t just read off their notes, but someone that can capture an audience’s attention and connect with them. A great preacher will use methods such a humor and illustrations to take the congregation on a journey in understanding the scriptures and revealing Jesus.
Ask yourself: What am I doing to engage with the audience? Do I have their attention when I am preaching?
Find out what comes naturally to you when it comes to engaging the audience. If you’re naturally a storyteller, tell stories. If you’re a funny person, use this to your advantage.
4. Preach to the back row
Great preachers make an effort to connect to all demographics in the congregation and all the different layers of people’s faith – from the unsaved, to the newly saved, to the Christian of 50 years. Great preachers don’t just preach to the front row, but they preach to the single mothers, the high-school students, the businessmen and the grandparents. Imagine how all the different members of your congregation (and visitors) are going to connect with you, and how they can apply your message to their lives.
Ask yourself: Is my sermon relatable to people? Do I know what is happening in the lives of those in my congregation and what answers they are searching for?
Preach relatable sermons by having a newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other. Find out what’s happening in people’s lives and how biblical truth can be applied to their situations.
Ultimately, there is a process and a high cost in becoming a great preacher. It requires sacrifice, preparation, and living a life of devotion to Jesus.
What are you doing now to grow in these qualities to continually develop yourself into a great preacher? What impact could great preaching have on the lives of those in your congregation? What more could you do to develop these qualities?
This thought was originally shared during a Preaching training session hosted by our Hillsong platform team during our ‘Online Open Week’ in February 2016. Online Open Week is your opportunity to receive impartation and training direct from the Hillsong team through live webinars.
If you would like to watch the full recording or find out more about future events from the Hillsong Leadership Network, join as a complimentary ‘Associate’ on the link below.