These are very important days we live in, so before we preach or teach any given message, let’s ask ourselves these questions: 

  • Have I prayed?
  • Do I consciously and desperately need the Spirit?
  • Do I believe that my hearers must hear what I have to say?
  • Am I attempting to live by the truths I am presenting?
  • Will my demeanor and words reflect the beauty and significance of the passage?
  • Do I believe God will change my listeners through what I will say?
  • In what principal way do I believe my hearers will be different because of this teaching?
  • How would this truth affect __________________, ______________, _____________ (put in names).
  • Am I saying what the passage says or am I using the passage to justify saying what I want to say?
  • Will the most mature Christian be challenged and the least mature understand?
  • In what ways am I remembering all who may be present (i.e., children, singles, retired, those without Christian spouses, etc.)?
  • Am I using vivid word pictures and helpful illustrations to make my teaching memorable and clear?
  • Is there anything I am planning to say that I should not say?
  • Am I passionate about this truth, and will my passion be evident to my listeners?
  • In what ways will I make Christ known?

James warned, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment” (James 3:1).

Also, let’s remember that true believers are not interested in our cleverness. We’ll do them immense good if we will simply teach what the Bible says, as accurately and as clearly as possible. We’re not more important than God. 

– Jim Elliff