The Challenges of Preaching

Preaching is not just the physical act of speaking publicly about the Word of God, but it is also a full-on battle in the spiritual realm. For this reason, preaching is hard work, and can often be mentally, spiritually and physically exhausting. Preaching also has many challenges which are not always obvious to the eye, so I would like to share what I have learnt about preaching so far. Please bear in mind that compared to seasoned pastors and ministers, I have relatively little experience in preaching, so what I have written here is by no means exhaustive, and as such I'll be updating this article as and when I learn new things about preaching.



About The Preacher

Live out what you preach

This will make you a genuine preacher. Generally, people tend to be more attentive to genuine preachers.  For myself, in order to satisfy this important point, I tend to live out what I want to preach first 
before I preach it. In this way I get two things in my favour:
  • I am able to test that what I am about to preach actually works!  I test everything that God shows me to make sure that it is authentic. When it works, I know that it is from Him and it is of sound doctrine.
  • By testing things out, I experience miracles & testimonies that I can incorporate into my sermons, and I use these miracles and testimonies as practical illustrations on how the message of the sermon can be applied in everyday life -- and to show that the Word of God really does work!  So often people struggle to remember sermons, never mind apply them in their lives. I find that people remember practical stories much easier than they remember pure theories. Testimonies also make the sermon real and people are then better able to relate to the sermon and to the preacher.
  • Supporting scripture:
John 7:16-18
16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.


Stay humble
  • Ensure that you do not have any hint of pride in you. This means that you should never ever judge, criticize the way in which another preacher preaches. Do not ever think that you preach better than them. It is dangerous to think this because soon enough God will bring you down. God uses different preachers in different ways to speak to people from different walks of life (who are at different stages with God).

Get Yourself ready
  • Pray as much as you can in the weeks and days leading up to the sermon - as Satan will be attacking you if your sermon is anointed (see Satanic Attacks).
  • Pray before or close to the beginning of the sermon. Pray for hearts, ears and eyes to be opened to the revelation of God's Word and Truth. Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you as you speak, and for Him also to touch the hearts of those listening. Pray for God's presence in the place where you are preaching.
  • Ensure that you are calm and not agitated. You may have been irritated by a spouse, friend or simply some random person just before you preach. If time permits and if it is possible, try to settle matters beforehand, otherwise spend whatever time you have in prayer to God, in repentance if necessary.
  • Make sure that you wear comfortable shoes and clothes. If they are uncomfortable, they may distract you from your preaching.
  • Make sure you have eaten well (but not too much that you feel sleepy) so that you have the strength to preach without your stomach rumbling.
  • Make sure that you have slept well the night before so that your mind can think clearly.
  • Make sure you have all that you need - your notes, your Bible, and all other relevant materials.
  • Feeling nervous just before preaching is normal - and this feeling should go once you get into the flow of preaching. However, if the feeling of nervousness is persistent and turning itself into overwhelming fear, then the forces of Satan may be at work against you and they are winning, you must rebuke Satan and fight him. Preaching is not just about the physical action of delivering God's word, but it is a full-on battle in the spiritual realm (for more details, see Satanic Attacks).