Among a list of “Ten Cautions and Encouragements for Preachers,” pastor Mark Driscoll writes:
1. Beware of sermons for sale. Tragically, there is a growing trend for preachers to buy their sermons. The tragedy with this is that such sermons are often goofy. Furthermore, they do not require the preacher to get his time in Scripture and do not encourage any sort of theological instruction as they are general mass market sermons to fit everyone, everywhere and are therefore not missional or theological or, arguably, biblical. While it is not wrong to listen to other preachers and how they taught on a text or topic, it is unwise simply to preach someone else’s work whether that is through plagiarism or the purchase of a sermon.
2. Preach Jesus. Jesus’ name should be spoken repeatedly throughout a sermon so it is clear which God you are speaking of; Jesus should be the hero of every sermon, the answer to every question, and the hope for every person. Jesus promised that if He is lifted up He would draw people; the key to church growth is the exaltation of Jesus.
3. Give your sermons away. Some years ago, we started putting the sermons online as free MP3 downloads. Today, with podcasting and vodcasting, we are seeing millions of people download the sermons. Our vodcast has been as high as #1 on iTunes for Religion and Spirituality. The Web is the new front door and many people will visit your church through your website long before they attend a church event. Also, many people like to catch up on past teachings, forward pertinent sermons to their friends, and listen to teaching while they drive to work, cook their meals and weed their gardens. By giving the sermon away for free, a preacher’s ministry can continue for years into the future to a much broader audience than they have on a Sunday.
4. After you’ve preached, let it go and sleep like a Calvinist. Don’t listen to your sermons over and over beating yourself up. Once you’ve preached a sermon, let it be a finished work and move on. Passion, courage and boldness are keys to preaching that simply cannot exist in someone who is too analytical or critical of themselves, so lighten up, have fun, and let it fly in Jesus’ name. (To read all 10, click here.)