The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Principles for preaching

with 3 comments

I have a fair bit of preaching and teaching ahead of me in the coming weeks. I was thinking of some of the challenges that lie before me, and I was reminded of the counsels that follow, things that I should do well to bear in mind. Most of them should never be forgotten.

Alexander Somerville (1813-1889) was a man of God. A friend of Robert Murray M’Cheyne, he studied with him formally and informally, and they spurred one another on and stirred one another up to love and good works. After spending much of his pastoral life in Scotland, in his latter years he took up a sort of roving ministry in India, Australasia, France, Italy, Germany, Russia, South Africa, Greece and Western Asia. One of his concerns was always to train and encourage men to preach. The following is the guidance he provided for such men.

Rules for sermon writing

  1. Pray without ceasing for clear views of your subject, for help in composition, in committing to memory, and in delivery.
  2. Pray without ceasing for the people you are to address.
  3. Remember you are to speak to souls who must either be impressed or hardened by the sermon you deliver.
  4. Write for Christ and of Christ.
  5. Remember that the Holy Spirit not merely can alone show to the heart the things that are Christ’s, but that He must be recognised as doing so by us. Keep the Spirit’s peculiar office and work continually in view.
  6. Remember that what you write must have eternal consequences.
  7. Write as one who must give an account to Christ for so doing.
  8. Write for a people who must give an account to Christ for the manner in which they hear.
  9. Never write for the sake of magnifying yourself.
  10. Remember the flock of Christ must not be fed with ingenuities, but with the bread of life.
  11. Write from the heart with simplicity, plainness (so that a little child may comprehend), and godly sincerity.
  12. Pray for other congregations … for your own companions in the work of preaching.
  13. Never write without this before you – and read at least three times in the composition of each discourse.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Thursday 23 June 2011 at 22:04

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  1. […] Principles for preaching « The Wanderer […]

  2. […] Principles for preaching « The Wanderer […]

    Preaching: 500+Resources

    Sunday 8 February 2015 at 05:13

  3. […] Principles for preaching « The Wanderer […]

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