Mostly Ministry


Finding Your Preaching Voice?

Finding Your Preaching Voice

Last week I listened to the Annual Preaching Seminar presented by The Rocket Company you can find them on Twitter at #preachbettersermons.  Every year is a time of inspiration and learning and this year was no different.  One of the teachings that struck me was about finding your preaching voice. I’ve reproduced the notes here with some comments and links that I hope you will find helpful.


Finding Your Preaching Voice

The Teacher

The strength of the teacher is content.

The weakness of the teacher is connection.

For the teacher, the why is important.

Answer this question for your audience”  Why is this content important?

The days of “Last week we were in Luke 2:5-7, now let’s open our Bibles to Luke 2:7-11 which is our text today.” are over.  The teacher assumes that the audience is as passionate about the material as they are.  In order to get the opportunity to share your great content you need to capture the attention of your audience. Here are 18 tips on grabbing attention.

The Motivator

The strength of the motivator is connection.

The weakness of the motivator is procrastination.

For the motivator the what is important.

Answer this question for your audience: What do I want them to do?

For the motivator the first part of the message is easy because they are great at connecting with the audience.  However, they need to do more than just engage and entertain.  They need to give their motivation some “legs” you can’t leave them hanging at the end of your message with just a good feeling.  Having trouble when it comes to applying your message?  Check out this Sermon Application Grid 

The Storyteller

The strength of the storyteller is engaging the audience.

The weakness of the storyteller is where.

Answer this for your audience: Where am I taking this audience?

The temptation of the storyteller can be to fill up the message with stories that do not propel the message forward.  Every story needs to take the ball further down the field.  If you have trouble with illustrations here is some help from H.B. Charles Jr.

The  Visionary

The strength of the visionary is purpose.

The weakness of the visionary is how.

Answer this question for your audience: How exactly are we going to change the world?

The visionary is similar to the motivator.  Martin Luther Jr. was a visionary, a person who had the purpose of changing  society and he had a plan to go with his purpose.  Having trouble with applying your sermon?  Here’s help Learning The Art of Sermon Application

The end of the session struck me and really helped explain why some preaching/speaking events falls short for no apparent reason.  Just as there are different preaching voices, there are different preaching/speaking environments: teaching, motivating and  storytelling.  Each environment has a different purpose and if our voice doesn’t match the environment then there will be a disconnect.  Bringing a teaching voice to a motivating environment is a mismatch that will be felt by speaker and audience.  Therefore, when asked to speak  be sure to understand the purpose of the event and adjust your message to suit it is appropriately.

What’s your primary voice?  Mine is storytelling.  Whatever your voice, accept it and develop it.  But don’t forget that there will be people in your audience who will relate to the other voices.  Therefore, adding some of those elements will enhance the impact of your message.


My Thoughts on “Preaching Sticky Sermons” by

Once a month, I write for and when Brandon and Joe announced their new book I jumped at the chance to get an advanced copy.  “Preaching Sticky Sermons” is a book you should have in your library.  The tag line is: “The Complete Practical Guide to Preparing, Writing, and Delivering Memorable Sermons” and they deliver on the promise.

They divide the book into 4 sections:

  • Great Preaching Begins With Great Preparation
  • Write For Maximum Impact
  • Deliver Intentionally and Powerfully
  • Beyond Sunday

The book has many strengths and here are 3 that stand out for me:

  • The seriousness for which they take the preaching task.
  • The desire to let the Scripture speak for itself.
  • The amount of time they take hammering home the importance of application.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

“Once you have the single, main passage identified, read it, study it, and then answer these 5 questions:
1. What do I, or others believe that goes against this text?
2. What do I or others do that goes against this text?
3. How might some people interpret this text in a way that resolves the tension of application and action?
4. What problem in life does this text address?
5. How do people justify that problem in their lives so they don’t have to deal with it?”

I know we all do this in one way or another but having these questions and filling them in as you study will help keep you in the passage, keep you practical and speed up your study.

However, you want to say it, “soup to nuts”, “beginning to end”, “A-Z”, “everything and the kitchen sink”, Joe and Brandon have created a great resource for preachers whether you are a beginner or a veteran.

Don’t just take my word for it here are some other reviews.

To close, here are a few of my favourite (I’m Canadian) quotes from each major section of the book.

Great Preaching Begins With Great Preparation:

  • “My biggest prayer is that God would push me to the side and that He would take over and simply use me as to tool to accomplish what He would like to do.”
  • “If you want to see God work in a special way in your message it must be biblically true.”
  • “Theologians like systems. Sometimes, in our actions, not our intentions we end up evaluating a system above Scripture.”

Write For Maximum Impact:

  • “Weeks where you don’t feel particularly creative can be vital to you realizing how much you depend on God to give you the words to say.”
  • “You should be as crystal clear in your application of the text just are you are crystal clear in explaining the meaning of the text.”
  • “Spend time addressing what the application of the text looks like for each stage of life and situation that your congregation may resonate with.”

Deliver Intentionally and Powerfully:

  • “Every time you walk on stage you have an opportunity to make a connection with your audience or your notes. Which will you choose?”
  • “Your voice is a powerful too. The spoken word has started wars and ended wars. It has brought peace to chaotic situations and it has brought chaos to peaceful situations.”
  • “The Biblical text, the Scripture, the Gospel need to be the centerpiece of your message and as great as modern media, and movies and video clips can be they do not have the saving power of Jesus.”

Beyond Sunday:

  • “With the expansion of technology, you have an extraordinary opportunity to further your sermon content beyond Sunday morning.”
  • “If you’re not intentional about furthering that content past Sunday, you’re doing a disservice to the people who God has entrusted you to serve.”
  • “If you are utilizing a one-point sermon, your bottom line should be something that can be utilized as a tweet on Twitter.”