1. Go easy on the jokes.
It’s understandable that pastors my try to find a nice opener to engage the congregation. However, don’t assume you have to start with a joke or even pepper jokes throughout the sermon. There’s a time and place for the funnies, but don’t overdo it.
2. Don’t come ill prepared.
Your main responsibility as a pastor is to be a shepherd to the congregation. You can only do that well when you know God’s Word. Storytelling, mumbling, or providing your own opinion is a dead giveaway that you didn’t prepare well enough. Make sure that your people are allowing you adequate time in prayer and study of the Word.
3. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord.
Make sure you understand your role as pastor, and the Lord’s position as Chief Shepherd. The congregation came to hear the Word and to fellowship, not to listen to your great speaking or personal opinions. Hesitate before offering your viewpoint and judgment on issues.
4. Dress comfortably, but appropriately.
You’re a pastor, not a celebrity, fashion model, or rockstar. Your congregation is made up of people from all walks of life, each with a different financial situation. Try to reflect this diversity in the manner of your dress. Let the focus be on the Word and on God, nothing else.
5. Enough about money!
There’s nothing more exhausting to a congregation than the ongoing rant about tithing and money for the latest ministry expansion or building upgrade. Sure, fundraising is important. So is tithing. But please make sure you draw the line between getting your own vision fulfilled, and truly building the Kingdom.
6. Be genuine: Walk the Walk!
You can’t be everyone’s best friend, nor do you have time to do so. However, you can be legit; you can be real. You can definitely walk the walk, instead of just talking about it on Sundays. Show you care, and show that you’re real by your lifestyle and choices.
7. Have you heard of the Old Testament?
You may like the new covenant and the promises of grace and forgiveness with it, but, boy, are you missing out if you don’t lay the foundation by pointing to the prophecies fulfilled from the Old Testament. It’s one Book. Preach regularly from both testaments.
8. Ask for regular prayer before preaching.
You’re human. You’re stressed, and have burdens. Make time to pray with your deacons or elders before you teach or preach. Fulfill your task in the power of the Spirit rather than your own ability. The difference and results will be apparent.
9. Give regular time for testimonies.
Don’t preach at people. Your church is a fellowship, a family. Who likes constantly being talked at? Give time, and plenty of it, for the congregation to share what God is doing in their lives. It’s empowering, motivating, and a massive hope-builder to see and hear how God is moving!
10. Be glad in your calling.
Remember your calling, and embrace it! You’re doing a wonderful job, and have been given a wonderful opportunity. Use it wisely, and enjoy it. What can be better than teaching and educating others in the stunning promise of hope, grace, and salvation?