From my reading in 2 Timothy 4 in the One Year Bible New Testament.
Paul gave Timothy instructions on how to preach that are very relevant for us today in 2 Timothy 4:2-4
1. Preach the word
Preach the word of God… 2 Timothy 4:2
Bible-less preaching is powerless preaching. You are not actually preaching unless you are talking about the Bible! God’s Word is the final authority on life and we should be faithful to preach God’s Word and not just our good ideas!
2. Always be prepared
Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not… 2 Timothy 4:2
A preacher should spend more time preparing himself than preparing a sermon. One of my favorite quotes on preaching is…
“I’d rather hear an unprepared sermon from a prepared man than a prepared sermon from an unprepared man.”
If you have been faithful to root yourself in the word then you will be prepared to preach if the time is favorable or not!
3. Correct and rebuke patiently
Patiently correct, rebuke… 2 Timothy 4:2
Good preaching is tough and tender. You must be willing to say the hard things, but the tricky part is saying them in a gentle and patient way.
Some preachers avoid tough subjects. This leads to shallow preaching and an spiritually malnourished flock.
Other preachers love tough issues and preach them without gentleness. This fire and brimstone approach “burns” people and causes them to not hear the message. Mary Poppins was right that a spoonful of sugar make the medicine go down. A congregation that only gets tough love from their pastor will have a tendency to be judgmental and proud if they stay.
4. Encourage people
…encourage your people with good teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2
Balanced preaching is both challenging and encouraging. People have the cares of this life battering them throughout the week and many need some encouragement. The church should be a place where people can hear encoring words to help them keep going.
5. Tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear
“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3–4
Some preachers base their teaching on what will be popular instead of God’s Word. The problem with this “next big thing” approach is the you have to constantly be changing to keep people. Sometimes as a preacher you have to say things that are not popular.
Which of these practices do you need to implement more in your preaching?
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