The apostle Peter was once given the opportunity to preach to a gathering of people standing around a fire, trying to warm themselves. On three occasions, Peter blew the opportunity and was not effective in preaching to them. Think about it, those folks may have been saved. A few weeks later, the same Peter opened his mouth and preached the gospel to a skeptical crowd, and in one sermon, 3 thousand people gave their lives to Christ. What had changed? The effectiveness of Peter’s preaching had changed. What made the difference? The Holy Spirit made the difference. When Peter denied Jesus, the Holy Spirit had not yet fallen on the apostles. When Peter became effective in preaching, the Holy Spirit had just descended on the apostles. Let me say this:
The key to effective preaching is not found in an idea, in oratory, in gift or in fervency; it is found in a person – the Holy Spirit. Connectedness to the Holy Spirit makes the difference.
Preaching is the method God chose to reach the lost. The effective preaching of the word of God is not by your power, gift, finesse or eloquence – although these help. Effective preaching comes about by your connectedness to the Spirit of God. Even your theological training, many times creates a huge barrier to the effectiveness of preaching of the word. Effective public speaking can be attained by an abundance of preparation but effective preaching is determined by connectedness to the Holy Spirit. Three things are necessary for effective preaching. They are:
- Something to say, and
- A passion to say it.
The studying of God’s word gives you something to say. Prayer creates the connectedness with the Holy Spirit you need and infuses you with a fervency, a passion, an urgency if you will, to preach. The combination of these factors make for effective preaching. Preaching that saves souls and changes lives. Preaching that heals bodies and mends Spirits.
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. – 1 Corinthians 2:4