Monday, December 18

Nine Tips For Preaching Like Martin Luther

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Martin Luther, in his lifetime, was not very popular. In fact, he was condemned as a heretic by the Catholic church. But here is what Martin Luther said about speaking for God. He said there are nine things every prophet, every teacher of the Word, every pastor should seek to do.

His comments are the numbered items. My explanation is included underneath each.

1. To teach the Word systematically.
This means teaching through books of the Bible, book by book, verse by verse.

2. To have a ready wit.
Being able to tell a joke is not the same as being witty. Wit is not really something that can be learned, but as long as you have a sense of humor and can laugh at yourself, you are on the right track.

3. To be eloquent.
Eloquence is illusive. Some, when they think they are being eloquent, are simply being verbose. Using lots of flowery language and big words is not the same as eloquence.

4. To have a good voice.
Speak up! But not too loud. Don’t shout. People who try to use voice theatrics such as whispering and shouting are often trying to make up for a lack of anything to say.

5. To have good memory.
This is a skill that takes some development. Memorization of a sermon is not ideal, but knowing the content so well that you could teach it even if you lost your notes is the goal. This skill will be developed over time.

6. To know when to make an end.
Sermon introductions and conclusions are often the hardest. But knowing when to conclude your sermon is critical. People should be left wanting more; not thinking you went ten minutes too long. 

7. To be sure of his doctrine.
Know what you believe, and why. Pastors should boldly claim what they believe, but also be ready to admit when and where you are wrong.

8. To engage body, blood, wealth and honor in the Word.
Preaching the Word will cost you all of these. If you do not poor your body, blood, and wealth into the Word, you will not get anything out of it to pass on to others.

9. He should suffer himself to be mocked and jeered by everyone.
This is the key to all the others. If you are afraid of what others will think, you will be afraid to teach the truth of Scripture.

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