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Sinclair Ferguson asks:

What Ten Commandments, what rule of preaching-life, do I wish someone had written for me to provide direction, shape, ground rules, that might have helped me keep going in the right direction and gaining momentum in ministry along the way?

Here is an outline of his answers:

  1. Know your Bible better.
  2. Be a man of prayer.
  3. Do not lose sight of Christ.
  4. Be deeply trinitarian.
  5. Use your imagination.
  6. Speak much of sin and grace.
  7. Use the "plain style."
  8. Find your own voice. 
  9. Learn how to transition.
  10. Love your people.

You can read the whole thing here.

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2 thoughts on “Ten Commandments for Preachers”

  1. Clarification Dave says:

    11. Learn to read the Scripture text outloud to the congregation so that its meaning could possibly be understood just by the speaking of the phrasing of the sentences.

    All too many preachers seem to rush speaking through the Scripture text and with a flat non-interpretive tone, seemingly to get all the more quickly to their “wonderful” comments about the text.

    I’m not referring to an exalted “preacherly” tone (“Gaw-uhd” for “God” or adding an “-uh” to every phrase) but rather to an enunciation and stressing of pitch, inflections, and pausings that would aid the listener in hearing what the text means. We do that naturally as we speak but when reading outloud we sometimes read flatly or too rapidly making the Scripture uninteresting or other worldly. Some people read bedtime stories to their children with more interest in communicating the impact of those stories than many preachers reading the Word of God.

    I am a preacher, and I pray that I would honor the text of Scripture in my speaking it outloud.

  2. michael henry says:

    12. The less we know of you by the end of the sermon the better; it’s not about you.

    13. Anecdotes are not scripture.

    14. God does not talk to you, he talks through his written revealed word.

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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