Where is God taking your preaching and teaching in 2024? Last week we talked about assessing our learnings from this year in the areas by using personal reflection, friendly feedback and taking action. Today we look ahead……..

We will take the apostle Paul as our inspiration in this area. Consider what happened immediately after his conversion.

“Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.”
(Acts 9:19-22 NIV11)

Note, he ‘grew more and more powerful’. His speaking increased in effectiveness. Granted this resulted in people wanting to kill him (!), and that’s not the desired result of our preaching and teaching growth. But, it is instructive that he developed as a speaker. How can we do that for ourselves in the year ahead? I have three tips.

  1. Grow as a disciple of Jesus
    • By far the most important thing you can do to grow as a speaker of God’s word is to develop your own relationship with him and your life as a disciple to Christ.
    • If preaching is God’s truth via personality, then should be an increasingly sanctified personality. As we grow, we reveal more of God to those who hear us. Not just because of what we say, but because of who we are becoming. God’s word having an effect on us inspires others that our speaking may have an effect on them in a way that brings them joy and God glory.
  2. Grow in knowledge of the Scriptures
    • A good question to ask every year is how you can get more Bible into your life.
    • This year the approach that has helped me is to use a daily devotional facility in my Bible software which gives me some Old Testament, New Testament, Psalm and a Proverb or two to read every day. I’ve copied and pasted the text into Speechify and listened to it.
    • Now when I speak I feel like I’m doing so with the greater richness and depth of all Scripture instead of just what I’ve been studying in preparation for that particular lesson.
  3. Grow in technical proficiency
    • Pick one area of presentation in which to grow.
    • For example, it might be conciseness, the effective use of illustrations, personal sharing, using a/v materials, clarity of thought….

What will help you to grow as a disciple of Jesus? What is the most significant decision you can make that will enable God to unleash the full power of his Spirit into your inner being in the year ahead? In what way can you grow in your knowledge of the Scriptures this year? What plan can you make and what action can you take? What would help you to be more technically proficient as a speaker? What do other people think?

This is the final teaching tip of the year. There will be no video next week, but we will pick up again in the first week of 2024.

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Remember to keep calm, and carry on teaching.

God bless, Malcolm