I enjoyed 9 Expert Tips for Better Writing and thought that some of them could be profitably translated for preachers.

1. Preach to make a point not to reach a time limit.

Vigorous writing (preaching?) is concise. ~William Strunk Jr.

2. Help another edit their preaching.

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard

3. Write something every day that you do not intend to share

This is a bit strong. However I think it is worthwhile, especially for students at Seminary, to regularly set apart some time to prepare sermon themes and outlines, even when they may have no opportunities to preach them.

4. Outline before drafting your sermon

If any man wish to write (preach?) in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

5. Don’t get caught up in re-stating the obvious

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. ~Anaïs Nin

I want to be a bit careful about this, because one task of the Gospel preacher is to keep re-stating the same truth (2 Peter 1:12). However, we don’t need to re-state the same truth the same way every time.

6. Befriend a dictionary
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug
. ~Mark Twain

Again, care required here so that we do not start using words that no one else understands. But, we can refresh our vocabulary with simple words also.

7. Keep a little notebook for moments of inspiration

Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable. ~Francis Bacon

8. Not having a pen in hand does not mean that you are not writing

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes. ~Agatha Christie

Or as the writer of this article put it: “There’s no such thing as writer’s block. But there are times when washing dishes is a better use of time than staring at an empty screen!”

9. Be kind to yourself

Every writer (preacher) I know has trouble writing (preaching!). ~Joseph Heller

  • Eddy

    This was helpful. Especially the portion about writing something you won’t necessary publish,share,preach. I’m encouraged to write more better!