H.B. Charles Jr. is a gifted young expositor who often writes about preaching in his blog. In a recent post, he discussed several insights about introducing sermons, including these two items:
“Practice variety. Don’t start every sermon the same way. Be creative. Use different doors to get into the house. Tell a story. Raise a question. State a problem. Use a strong quote. Describe the background of the text. Do an object lesson. Try multimedia. Mix it up. Practice diversity. Change the way you come at them, especially if you preach to the same congregation each week. Practicing variety in the introduction is a simple but effective way to stay fresh in the pulpit.
“Keep it brief. This is key advice for preachers who strive to do exposition. You want to spend the bulk of your time explaining and applying the text. So get to the point quickly. Don’t ramble. Don’t waste words. Don’t loiter on the front porch. You can give a wrong signal by taking your time to tell a story, build suspense, or make an application, leaving limited time to deal with the text. Don’t cruise through the introduction and then rush through the body of the message. We are prone to say, ‘I wish I had more time to deal with this.’ Give yourself more time by keeping your introduction brief.”