Preaching the Word of God is among the greatest privileges entrusted to man. It is also one of his greatest responsibilities.
Through the foolishness of preaching (1 Cor 1:21), God has chosen to reveal Himself to men. This knowledge of God, conveyed through preaching, is able to lead men to eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. It is also able to transform them into the image and likeness of God (2Cor 3:18).
These pages are the simple basic principles of preaching. They are intended primarily for those thousands of fine church leaders whose circumstances have denied them the training to develop their latent skills.
The notes were originally prepared for the students of the “Africa Christian Training School” in Harare, Zimbabwe.
“I would also like to acknowledge the insight and inspiration I received from reading “Notes on Homiletics” by Aaron Linford (England).
Seven years of ministry in Africa has brought me into contact with thousands of pastors and church leaders; most have never had the opportunity of any formal training in the art of preaching and teaching. They have not been able to study the principles of preaching; consequently, their abilities and skills are largely undeveloped. Their limitations in this area have impoverished congregations. An adequate preaching ministry is essential to the growth and spiritual development of a congregation. It is to these fine men that this simple training is lovingly dedicated. The art of preaching is called “HOMILETICS,” derived from the Greek words homileo and homilia, which mean “to be in company with, i.e., to converse, and communicate”.
Acts 20:11 is based on homileo. Note how it is translated in The Living Bible: “They all went back upstairs and ate the Lord’s S upper together; then Paul preached [homileo] another long sermon -so it was dawn when he finally left them!”
Homiletics involves the study of everything related to the art of preaching sermons. Good sermons (communication) are birthed out of good communion (companionship) and fellowship.
There are two distinct aspects involved in preaching: Firstly, the divine; secondly, the human. Homiletics is the study of the human aspect!
A. HOW TO BE EFFECTIVE
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 men.
God gives the revelation; man provides the presentation.
In order to do this effectively, he must learn to do several things well.
- Wait On God
Firstly, he must learn how to wait on God. The preacher must learn how to be still in the presence of God, and discern the voice of the Lord speaking within his own spirit. (See Sections A2.1 and A2.2 of World MAP’s book The Shepherd’s Staff for more instructions on this.)
Every worthwhile sermon begins in the heart and mind of God, Who is the source of all truth. He is the fountain of all knowledge. The effective preacher’s first task is to learn to receive the thoughts of God. Rarely will he ever hear an audible voice of God.