I came across this while on vacation and thought it very helpful:
…it is common to hear preachers take a Bible text and preach a message that is truth. Real truth. True truth. Bible truth. All off the back of the text they read. But the truth preached is not the truth specifically communicated by the passage… (ht: Preach More Than Truth « Biblical Preaching. )
For my context, we are required to preach with three guidelines:
1 – Preach for not longer than 14 minutes…
2 – Use the Lectionary whenever possible
3 – Our primary audience focus is to “those who are not yet here”…
Now, I can preach on any topic with about 30 minutes of prep… and it can be really enjoyable. After 10 years of preaching, I have enough great stories and understand the needs of my congregation(s) such that communicating a Biblical Truth is neither complicated nor difficult.
What is difficult (and a fun challenge) is to preach the text that we’re given, with the audience in mind, in the time allotted… in such a way that the TEXT is what the congregation is encouraged/convicted by.
(Any hints?? … besides… “preach longer”…)