5 Ways You Can Bomb A Sermon by Adam Ramsay
Finding your own voice, style, and rhythm as a communicator of God’s Word is a journey that takes a lifetime. However, you can get a head start by learning to avoid these common mistakes preachers make.
When I sat down after preaching my first sermon, I felt like I had done a pretty decent job. In reality it was about as smooth as a circle of white guys on the dance floor during happy hour.
Preaching is a high calling and hard work. I started preaching weekly to a group of high-school students when I was just 20 years old. Like me, a huge percentage of preachers learn the ropes and discover their voice while teaching young people in some form of student ministry. And unless you’re some sort of prodigy (you’re probably not), the brutal truth is you will likely look back on your first couple hundred sermons as something comparable to the earnest delusion of most American Idol auditions.
If you are still in your first five years as a preacher, don’t give up! God has this wonderful way of drawing straight lines with crooked sticks. Fortunately he not only works through us, but in spite of us.
I am of little use in the pulpit if I am proclaiming the gospel without relying on it.
I know we are addicted to instant results and naturally gravitate toward the easy path of least resistance. I know the temptation to settle for mimicking your favorite preacher that online podcasting has provided us. But finding your own voice, style, and rhythm as a communicator of God’s Word is a journey that takes a lifetime. And it’s better to know one thing up front: there are no shortcuts.
As we have pioneered student ministry at Mars Hill Church over the past year, I have been preaching on average 4–5 times a week and have enjoyed the opportunity to talk to lots of young preachers like myself. What follows are five of the most common ways I’ve personally bombed a sermon to students (or seen others in youth ministry do likewise), along with some helpful instruction from some of the greatest preachers of all time. Continue reading