To help improve my preaching skills, I read books on the subject by preachers as well as periodically attend conferences and workshops. I am currently working my way through John Piper’s book, Expository Exultation: Christian Preaching as Worship, and recently started H. B. Charles, Jr.’s book, On Preaching: Personal & Pastoral Insights for the Preparation & Practice of Preaching.
I found myself nodding in agreement with Charles’ personal assessment in his introduction.
For the record, I am never satisfied with my preaching. I know all too well that I have not “arrived.” Every now and then, I finish preaching and feel like I hit it out of the park. Most weeks, I am grateful just to get on base—even if I have to lean into a pitch and take one for the team. Like most pastors, I can’t stand to hear or see recordings of my preaching. It’s cruel and unusual punishment. I try to press on with my regular preaching duties without paying much attention to the weaknesses in my preparation and presentation. But that only works for so long. At some point, I come face-to-face with the fact that I have along way to go as a preacher.
Since I’m not satisfied, I will keep reading, studying, practicing, and striving to sharpen my skills and improve my effectiveness. That, and of course, praying that God will anoint me, fill me, and use me for his glory.