Who the preacher is shapes the sermon

Know yourself.

Peter Adam

In our Western society we tend to focus on and trust in the ‘how’ of preaching. ‘If I could just find the right method or style, then my preaching would improve.’ Yes, can improve our methodology: but we must also consider how who the preacher is shapes the sermon.

This is just a particular example of how who the minister is shapes the ministry.

Look at the following list, and reflect on how these characteristics should shape your preaching.

An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.


Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.


Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.


He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it [Titus 1:6-9].


If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres [1 Cor 13:1-7].


Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.


And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away [1 Pet 5:2-4].


You might like to consider the following characteristics. If you have them, think how they do might influence your preaching for good, how you might have to restrain them in case they damage your preaching. If you do not have them, think how the lack of them might weaken your preaching, and what you might do to make up that deficiency.


How this will influence your preaching

How to make good use of this, and how to counter its weakness

Interested in people/not


Still learning from the Bible/not






Reflective about life/not


Culturally aware/not








Working too hard/not




Disciplined in work/not


Introvert/ Extrovert


Bad tempered/not


Like thinking and analysis/not


Enjoying the 2020s/not









Like sport/not


Follow politics/not


Emotionally stable/not














Full of faith/not


Full of love/not


Full of hope/not


Love the church/not


Aware of your emotions/not


Aware of the emotions of others/not










Able to wait for an eternal reward/not


Just and fair in human relationships/not


Aware of your fragility/not


Suffering illness/not


Facing personal or family pressures/not


[Add other significant elements]

Peter Adam May 2022