I am preparing to preach Ephesians 6: 10-20 (The Whole Armor of God) at Desert Springs Church this Sunday. At the end of the passage Paul asks for prayer for his bold declaration of the gospel. John Stott in his commentary on Ephesians gives this encouragement to all preachers about the need to be both bold and clear.
Clarity and courage remain two of the most crucial characteristics of authentic Christian preaching. For they relate to the content of the message preached and to the style of its presentation. Some preachers have the gift of lucid teaching, but their sermons lack solid content; their substance has become diluted by fear. Others are bold as lions. They fear nobody, and omit nothing. But what they say is confused and confusing. Clarity without courage is like sunshine in the desert: plenty of light but nothing worth looking at. Courage without clarity is like a beautiful landscape at night time: plenty to see, but no light by which to enjoy it. What is needed in the pulpits of the world today is a combination of clarity and courage, or of ‘utterance’ and ‘boldness’. (Bible Speaks Today NT Commentary: Ephesians, John Stott)