Jonathan Dodson has some great words of wisdom for young preachers, I really love that it doesn’t start off with 4 years in seminary, but takes a more Biblical direction:
1. The theologically educated should spend less time in books and more time in culture. You’ve put in your theology time, now put it to work in the hearts of your people and the culture of your city. Labor to make the text touch your culture, the gospel bless your city.
2. If not theologically trained, get some on the fly and use it directly in the pulpit. Double up to use your study efficiently. Focus on strong exegesis that will serve you for a lifetime, not cultural savvy, humor, or technique that fades overnight.
3. Consider your context and preach to your people. Pastoring the working class? Be less heady, more earthy. Don’t try to be Tim Keller. Find a preaching mentor that suits your context. Pastoring Creatives/knowledge class? Deal with their intellecual objections. Some heady but still heart focused. You get the drift.
4. Spend a lot of time in prayer for your people. Plead for the gift and guidance of the Spirit all week long for ministry of the Word that extends well beyond the pulpit and into people’s lives. Pray the gospel into the hearts of your people. Pray them through suffering. Pray them into a life of faith and obedience. Listen to Terry Virgo’s message on Prevailing Prayer.
5. Don’t try to “arrive” with each message. Preaching is a lifelong process. The last revision should be Spirit-led from the pulpit. Give yourself the grace God is giving you in developing your voice and honing your craft. Not perfection overnight but perseverance over a lifetime.
6. Be less hours driven and more Spirit led. Meditate on the text; don’t just study it. Do whatever it takes to get your heart repenting, rejoicing, trusting in the Word of God, in Christ the Word. Give your church a well prepared preacher, not merely a well prepared sermon.
7. Give equal attention the ministry of the Word throughout the week. Take time to develop a community that has facility in a ministry of the Word thru the week with another. Train them how to speak the truth in love, encourage one another daily, exhort, reprove, correct with gentility. God builds his church through a kingdom of priests not kingdom of preachers.