Doug Groothuis has posted eleven (so far) thoughts on preaching. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Never preach without an awareness of sin, the Cross, repentance, and the power of the Holy Spirit. I heard a sermon recently that mentioned none of them. It grieved me deeply.
3. Preach as if God were your ultimate and primary audience. God is.
5. Exhort, do not entertain. Do not fear biblical exhortation, which may be sharp and painful. On that, see the chapter on lukewarmness in Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Or, better, yet read Jesus’ exhortation to the Church as Laodicia in Revelation 3.
Number five is especially convicting to me. Two many times I judge how a Sunday morning went speaking to the high school students by how they seemed to be listening or how well they enjoyed it rather than how faithful I was in telling the truth. This is not to say that we must not treat speaking and preaching as a craft, or that we should not use every good tool we can to get people to listen to God’s Word. However, too many times I border on entertaining when I should be exhorting.