During the 2013 Preach Better Sermons webinar, they shared an interview with Louie Giglio where he discussed his process of sermon writing. During the interview he shared what he called his six rules of preaching.
Here are his six rules of preaching, and some other insights he gave on preparation.
RULE #1 – Have Something to Say
- If you have nothing to say please stop preaching.
- If you only have a little bit to say, keeping saying what you have to say.
- The most important thing you can say is the thing that is blowing up in your heart.
RULE #2 – Be faithful to the Text
- You don’t have to be a Greek scholar to be faithful to the text. You can communicate the simple truths which are in plain sight in the text.
- If you are trained in Bible study techniques, you should always use deeper insights NOT to impress, but to give weight to what you are communicating.
RULE #3 – Lead people to Jesus
- The goal isn’t to lead people to the preacher.
- No matter the text, they should leave with more of Jesus.
- Don’t create fans of yourself. Create fans of Jesus.
RULE #4 – Don’t Be Boring
- The gospel is the greatest story ever told about the greatest man who ever lived. There’s no reason for it to be boring.
- The entire Bible is God revealing Himself to mankind. It should naturally cause excitement.
- There’s little worse in life than carrying the story of Jesus and hope and making it boring.
RULE #5 – Prepare
- Preaching requires preparation, and you have to work at it.
- You start with some initial idea for a sermon or a sermon series.
- You have no idea when you deliver this talk, but the idea for a great message is conceived in your mind.
- It may be 2 months or 2 years before the talk is delivered, but it always starts with an idea.
- This is the development period, the time between the original conception of the idea and when you finally write and deliver the talk.
- During this time you record ideas for texts, illustrations, stories, quotes or creative elements. Here you’re simply gathering and collecting ideas for the talk.
- You may not even know when or where you’re going to deliver the talk, but you’re collecting resources for when you do.
- This step is when you finally construct the talk.
- For Louie, this is a 2 or 3 hour process, 5 hours at the longest.
- He starts with many pages of notes and ideas, and through the process shrinks it down to a single page outline.
RULE #6 – Be led by the Holy Spirit
- When we get done with our preparation, view it as a suggested guide which the Holy Spirit can do whatever He wants.
- I am led by the Holy Spirit best when I have prepared the most.
- I want to be led by the Holy Spirit not a manuscript or a sermon series.