3 Ways to Improve Your Preaching

Episode 646: One of the most important topics for pastors and church planters is improving their preaching. Host Clint Clifton and Noah Oldham, lead pastor of August Gate church in St. Louis and NAMB’s senior director of deployment, discuss ways to continue to grow as preachers.

In This Episode, You’ll Discover:

  • Two schools of thought in church planting when it comes to preaching
  • Three things young preachers can do improve to their preaching

Sharable Quotes (#NewChurches):

I believe God wants the church to gather and to scatter. There’s a rhythm of breathing in and breathing out. There’s a moment for monologue, a moment for dialogue and a moment for activating what we’ve learned. @NoahOldham

As I read the Scripture, we hear the challenge in the local church to preach the Word. So preaching is vastly important. @NoahOldham

A lot of factors contribute to the success or failure of a new church. And none of them quite impacts the church like preaching. It’s the most obvious feature of the church. @clintjclifton

Most church planters need to be consistently working on improving their preaching. @clintjclifton

Preaching is a main function of pastors in the church. We should seek to do it better and better all the time. @NoahOldham

Most church planters consider themselves to be pretty good preachers yet, in my observation, most need to grow in their preaching. @clintjclifton

Most church planters need time and reps and seasons to grow as communicators so they can be effective in the long run to help the church be strengthened. @NoahOldham

John Stott says, “It may be more valuable to ask a friend to be candid with you about your voice or your mannerisms, especially if they need correction. An Indian proverb says, ‘He who has a good friend needs no mirror.'” @clintjclifton

When I’m preaching, I want to disappear, yet I often carry more of myself into the pulpit than I realize. I want Him to increase and me to decrease. @NoahOldham

The pulpit is a place of self-forgetfulness when you’re talking about God and His Word. @clintjclifton

When you listen to somebody preach, you can tell who they love, who they listen to. @clintjclifton

I don’t need a preacher to be someone else. I need you to be you. @NoahOldham

Every time we imitate another preacher, it’s like a photocopy of a photocopy. @clintjclifton

We can’t help but be influenced by those who are really gifted communicators, but it’s really helpful to limit that intake if we want to hone our own craft and find our own voice in preaching. @clintjclifton

At August Gate, we set out this threefold standard: Is it faithful? Is it passionate? And is it compelling? @NoahOldham

Another thing preachers can do to improve their preaching – other than just listening to their sermons by themselves – is to create a culture in their new church where sermon feedback is welcomed and weekly. @clintjclifton

We call sermon critiques “wins and opportunities.” There’s no losses. It’s an opportunity for growth. @NoahOldham

Creating a culture of honest feedback at a level of church membership and in your team is super important. @NoahOldham

Soliciting feedback over and over communicates to your team and volunteers that you’re a person who wants to improve in your preaching and you’re approachable. @clintjclifton

It’s on you as the leader to create an environment where people know they can approach you and they’re not going to be sorry they did. We want to create a culture where sermon feedback is welcomed and frequent. @clintjclifton

Reps are everything for a preacher. Any time you can handle a mic or be in front of a crowd, if you want to grow as a communicator, do it – because it’s God giving you an opportunity to learn to find your voice in a different direction. @NoahOldham

I heard Tim Keller say your first 300 sermons are garbage. So if you’re not to 300 yet, you should just assume your preaching needs a lot of improvement. @clintjclifton

I would encourage those who want to improve their preaching to step back and take another role in communication in your church. Do the next steps or the announcements. It keeps me fresh and casting a vision in a new way. It keeps me sharp. @NoahOldham

Never think yourself more highly than you ought to and find other ways to communicate. That’s going to help you get out of the rut of what you normally do every week. @NoahOldham

Cross-train and do different things in the life of the church. @clintjclifton

Helpful Resources:

Please subscribe to the podcast and leave a rating and review on iTunes.

Published March 3, 2022

P.S. Get our best content in your inbox

We send one email per week chock full of articles from a variety of Church Planting voices.