Have your chance to see what goes on behind the scenes of Hope City Church by checking what senior Pastor Dave Gilpin is looking for from every resident and emerging preacher in the life of all congregations of Hope City. (Given out to everyone who preaches in any of the congregations of Hope City Church.)

Here are the tips…

1. Make sure you apply your message to ‘Average Joe’ and not immediately to those who need healing or a specific miracle. Make sure you have really gotten into Average Joe’s shoes and understand what makes him tick and how he can walk into your message (spend time praying over the congregation).

At the end of the message when you turn completely pastoral, its good to mention extreme cases of people struggling and how God is about to help them. (Word of knowledge or just what you feel).

2. If you’ve got a theme or a burden or a point of inspiration – realise that God has give it to you and then think why! Really think of the reasons why the message clicks with you and is good for them, This can really help you in your preparation and flow.

3. Always centre the message around one small passage. Try to work the passage by bringing your central theme from it and your 2, 3 or 4 points from it. Don’t bounce off the bible – dig into it and preach it.

4. Weave into your message the season the church is in or the season of year or the thing happening in the nation.

5. After you’ve prepared your message, take a step back from it and make your style chatty, but well prepared. You can move into declaration and prophecy from a chatty style, if you start in a ‘proclamation’ way, its difficult to gear change to a more relaxed style… make sure that titles to your points are interesting-provoking curiosity.

6. Make sure that you don’t inspire or challenge people without giving them practical assistance to fulfil the inspiration. You need to really think through why people ‘don’t get it’ and how they ‘can get it’. Never till them ‘what’ without telling them ‘how’

7. You will always need to summarize your message into one sentence. Your message must be contained in that one sentence. It can’t be a two sentences joined by a semi colon. It must be clear, sharp and inspirational.

8. Never read long chunks of scripture. If you do make points from other scriptures outside of your central text, make sure it ties in well and doesn’t bog the sermon down.

9. Always have two endings just in case you get carried away by your first two points. Never introduce new scripture, videos or new concepts in the last 5 minutes while you’re trying to land the sermon by going pastoral. Always return to your one killer sentence.

10. Make sure your points are distinct from each other. Often they’re too similar. Use great testimony, illustrations and pictures to create windows of light in the message.

Make sure that you limit the clichés down to the barest minimum and you’ve thought about every point you make. Always take it back to ‘why on earth am I sharing this!’ Here lies all your answers.