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10 Steps to Preaching Motivational Sermons


How to Inspire Your Congregation

Little can be more inspiring to a local group of church goers than a well-prepared pastor who delivers a rousing message. This hub outlines ten steps to preaching motivational sermons.


Step 1: Be the Message

Of course all sermons are written and delivered to glorify God and to draw others to be effective citizens of God's kingdom; however, if you want your congregation to listen to your Sunday messages then you must be an example of God's love and holiness; grace and truth. You do not have to be perfect, but you must be kind and gentle and have faith that God can do more in your life and in the life of your congregation then you could ever think or imagine.

Step 2: Set Your Ego Aside

The second step to deliver a motivational sermon is to set aside your ego. It is easy to want to be awe inspiring. No one stands before a group of others and wants to be boring. Sadly, some become pastors because they want others to think they are great and want to be big men in the sight of other human beings. However, like John the Baptist told his followers in John chapter 3, a preacher's job is to cause Jesus to grow in the sight of his congregation. Jesus must increase and the minister must decrease. 

Step 3: Surrender Your Will and Pray God's Anointing

After you set aside your ego, you must surrender yourself to the Lord and pray for His anointing. The work of God's kingdom is not the type of endeavor that any man, woman, or child can do on their own strength or wisdom. In order to deliver an awe inspiring sermon, you must rely on the presence and the power of God's Holy Spirit. This means you must completely surrender yourself to God and his will. To surrender yourself pray as Moses did, confessing that you know that you cannot speak even one good word unless God speaks it through you. Thank him for being allowed to be his vessel and give him full reign over your thoughts, mannerisms and words. When you pray, as James admonishes do not waver in unbelief or doubt.

Step 4: Let God's Word Guide Your Message

Personally, I am a fan of verse by verse preaching. I think God's word gives proper weight to each topic related to being better citizens of his kingdom. However, whether you preach verse by verse or topically, you must allow your message to spring from God's Holy Scriptures. Many preachers use the Bible as a reference guide. They think about a topic which seems relevant to their congregation and then look for Bible passages that apply to the topic. After they find verses that they think support their pet theory, they then turn to other reference guides like a concordance or commentary or the internet to find other more contemporary illustrations. God says that his word will go out and not return to him void. It will do what God wants it to do. Man's words and pet theories cannot measure up to the power and persuasivenes of the Bible. Make the Bible the backbone of your message and your congregation will be empowered to do God's will and work.

Step 5: Give Yourself 20 to 25 Hours per Sermon

Here you might say: "You got to be kidding, man. 25 hours, I'm a pastor of a small struggling church. Get real, you can't be serious." However, I have found that quality comes with preparation. Everyone remembers that Winston Churchill was a man of many monumental words and phrases, but few know that each famous saying was painstakingly crafted through many hours of dictating, editing and re-writing. If Churchill thought it necessary to spend hours upon hours for the purpose of human politics; how much more the man of God representing the King of the Universe! Some will say: "I just stand up there and let the Holy Spirit speak." I used to do the same and my messages were weak and pitiful. Finally, one day one wise Christian friend asked me, "Can't the Holy Spirit who speaks to you on the day of sermon also speak to you a week before the message is to be delivered?" When I began putting in the compulsory amount of time to script out God's message, I began speaking with power and confidence because I knew they were God's well ordered words and not some measily stuff from the shallow recesses of my feeble mind.

Step 6: Write Your Sermon in a Series of Two Minute Modules

This tip comes from the seminar I attended in Thailand. In order to prepare a motivational sermon, you must break each point and subpoint down into two minute modules. This means boiling your stories down into power-packed, awe inspiring illustrations that grab the congregation just long enough to get the point across.

Step 7: Make the Whole Worship Service Awe Inspiring

A Sunday morning service is made up of more than just the sermon. Most churches begin with a period of singing and prayer in order to draw the people into the presence of God. This time is not about entertaining the people, but about helping them to get their minds off the hubbub of life and focused on the Lord and what He would want to say to them through the respective sermon. Orchestrating a Spirit-filled worship service can aide in delivering a motivational Sunday morning message.

Step 8: Give Your Congregation an Outline to Follow

The seventh step to preparing a motivational sermon is to give the memebrs of the congregation an outline to follow. Pastor Rick Warren is a master at this. The sermon handout at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California is more detailed than most other churches and is very interactive. Folks follow along and circle words and fill in blanks which gives the people in the pews more exposure to the content. It ultimately keeps them actively engaged with each point of the sermon.

Step 9: Deliver One Clear Action Point

If you want your Sunday message to be transformational, you must give the congregation something to go home with; meaning something to do, an action point. So when preparing ask yourself, better yet, ask God that one question: what one or two things does God want the congregation to apply from the sermon?

Step 10: Be Passionate

Finally, the tenth step to delivering an awe inspiring message is to be passionate about it. Many evangelical preachers think it is ungodly to be emotional when speaking God's message. Hogwash! Let yourself go! You have been entrusted with the Words of Life, so let them fly with all the gusto you can muster. Of course to speak boldly you have to be confident about the subject God has placed on your heart. Furthermore, it is difficult to be confident when you are not prepared. So be diligent to prepare well and you will place yourself in a good position to speak with authority.

Bonus: Don't Read Your Sermon

 One bonus tip is: don't read your message notes verbatim. Likewise do not try to memorize your message; when you miss a point in a memorized sermon, your mind can get all tangled up and then begin to go blank out of confusion. Simply speak to the congregation like you are having a cup of coffee with them at Starbuck's which includes passionate storytelling.  After you have scripted out your message, trim the main points down to short one liners to help guide your thinking when the time comes.


MAXWELL MUSUNGU on February 18, 2014:

BLESSED! i have learn a lot . the article is a blessing. God bless you.

wba108@yahoo.com from upstate, NY on November 04, 2013:

I preached in my home church with my wife the first time just two weeks ago. I can confirm that you definitely cannot read the sermon off the page, you have to preach what you really know about. I found that I'm a much better teacher than a preacher though, as long as I can put a scripture up on the projector I do alright.

I think your first point is very important, " be the message". If your not livin it don't preach it! Or better yet, if your not passionate about your subject you can forget it!

Eddie Gualvez on April 05, 2013:

God is our protector, always acknowledge that god is good. Thank you for this hub. God bless you!

Phillias Malenji on August 19, 2012:

Good work always shows meaning this is trust worth message to hear , may the good lord continue annointing you.Amen

Beat Bisangwa on July 06, 2012:

I landed on this as I was preparing for a motivational talk to women. It has helped tremendously!

God bless you!

Segun Tewogbola from Texas on May 19, 2012:

I say a loud and believing AMEN to that. God bless you too!

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on May 18, 2012:

Segun thank you for your kind words. I pray the LOrd will bless you and your family and your ministry.

Segun Tewogbola from Texas on May 18, 2012:

I really want to say THANK YOU for this hub.

SATYA S NAG on April 04, 2012:

i m pray to GOD , GOD can change the world every body should be know truth. in my PRAYER GOD DO MIGHTY THING THROUGH HIS SERVANT.

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on March 10, 2012:

pastor shrite. I am grateful you took time to share with me. And, I thank the Lord that you found this article inspirational. I pray that the Lord will bless your heart and empower your voice to move others each time you open your mouth to proclaim his truth.

pastor shrite on March 10, 2012:

this is very interesting,its inspirational infact God bless you for this guidance

Ikechukwu frank on February 28, 2012:

sir thanks i have package this stuff save for my unborn children children.

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on February 14, 2012:

Thank you Mr. Azhar Farmish for your beautiful. I am very happy that you my article was helpful to you.

Azhar Farmaish on February 14, 2012:

It is great source of Information for me.may God bless you more.

GERARDO on February 03, 2012:


ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on January 17, 2012:

Pete (Preacher), I prasie God that this article helped you. I pray the fruit from your preaching will be bountiful and everlasting to God's glory.

Pete(newly called Preacher) on January 15, 2012:

I,m getting ready to preach my second sermon on january 29th ,I came here looking for ways of getting the congregations attention ,and i feel confident now ,i plan on on having a prepared message ,when this day comes,thank you and remember me when you pray

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on November 17, 2011:

Good day Charlene. I praise God that you found this article helpful. I pray that God empowers you to boldly speak his word to whatever audience he puts in front of you.

charlene on November 17, 2011:

Wow..Thanks..it is very helpful..

bandile on November 10, 2011:

picture that you in a present of god how you see that issue

DK from London on November 02, 2011:

No problem, credit where credit is due.

I chose it because philanthropy is the bond that all human beings share either through altruism or through selfishness. I chose 2012 because it is a symbol for 2012 being the start of a new era. Some say that It is the end of the world but I say it is the start of a new one. A time for modern society to bond and fight against all that endangers our survival as one species.

If you have time, please have a look and give your feedback on my hub :) Thank you for your time


ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on November 02, 2011:

Philanthropy2012 - Thank you for the encouraging note about this article. I appreciate it greatly. I like your user name, why did you choose it?

DK from London on November 02, 2011:

Hey, a well written article - you seem very intelligent and have strong opinions for the existence and greatness of God so I would value your opinion and any counter arguments you may have to my argument on how God is a sadist (or non existent).

It appears to me that you are helping people spread the word of a very cruel being.

Charles Webb-it from Edmonds,WA on October 22, 2011:

can you explain the picture of the pentagram? maybe im missing something?

thank you

Youth Pastor Mangena on October 03, 2011:

That was powerful i don't know what to say . Thank you a lot

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on September 13, 2011:

Vincent, I appreciate hearing from you and am glad that you were encouraged by this article. All the Lord's best to you.

Vincent Archibong on September 13, 2011:

Thank you for such a great comment which has made me seat up in my congregational approach. Thank

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on September 07, 2011:

Jacobs, I am glad you were blessed by this article.

Jacobs on September 06, 2011:

This is a beautiful and inspiring piece. Its very helpful. Thanks

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on July 09, 2011:

GrowingDeeper, That is a very important insight. Rick Warren and the folks at Saddleback are masters at this. They even have people circle words as well as fill in blanks. Thank you for sharing this insight.

GrowingDeeper on July 07, 2011:

One of the best things I have ever done is preparing a written handout and making it to some degree interactive. This does at least two things, 1) keeps listeners engaged but, also 2) keeps them in-step with the preacher or teacher by providing a point of reference. There are other benefits as well. They also have information to take home. But, Ill leave it at this. Good article.

Big Mos on May 17, 2011:

That great really incouraging at the same time building. God bless his servants. Much Love from the our brother Jesus.

Royality on May 10, 2011:

Your steps has help me to understand how to develop the God given ability within me and I will definitely put it to use in the future. I still think I need to learn to follow the 24hr preparation.

Vicky C. from New England on April 29, 2011:

Great tips.

cris palileo on February 05, 2011:

maraming salamat po sa napaka halagang turo para sa mabuti at nakakaenganyong paraan ng pangangaral.

Isaiah Michael from Wherever God leads us. on October 28, 2010:

I am sure others can put this to practice. open eyes and ears and what we can put to practice can be mind boggling for our earthly minds!

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on October 27, 2010:

Thank you Michael, I appreciate it very much. I pray that it is information that others can use.

Isaiah Michael from Wherever God leads us. on October 27, 2010:

Excellent work very inspiring!

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on September 01, 2010:

TheMinister: I am pleased to have had the opportunity to bless you and encourage you. May God anoint you with his power and wisdom as you present his Word to your congregation and others.

TheMinister on September 01, 2010:

Thank YOu very much for these words of encouragement, Many people love to give your their idea on how you should preach your messages, and the amazing thing is they are not even ministers. From one minister to another thank you, I am learning to grow and growing to learn.

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on August 11, 2010:

pilgrimboy, thank you again for your encouraging comments. Preparation time is invaluable.

Regan Clem from Ohio on August 11, 2010:

It is nice to be reminded about the length of sermon preparation. I was taught in college that I should spend an hour for every minute I preach in preparation. Then I get out here in the real world and develop minister friends who just wing it on Sunday mornings. But I find the preparation time invaluable for myself and the message. Thanks for the great hub.

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on August 05, 2010:

Dave, Thank you for the encouraging comment. The tip to read a Scripture passage 30 times before preaching about it sounds like excellent advice. Thank you for sharing it.

Dave Sibole from Leesburg, Oh on August 05, 2010:

Great Hub. Very Useful. One other hint I heard one time and can't remember where to give proper credit but the man said he started his preparation by reading the Scriptural text 30 times to get help him get into the proper context. Thanks.

Eze Peter on June 26, 2010:

Thank you sir for this article, it has shown me what I've been doing rightly or wrongly. Please more of it. God is using you to prepare the men, who prepares the message. More blessings!

Wbisbill from Tennessee USA on June 22, 2010:

Very helpful, very useful, very true hub. Thanks, it helped me and i know it will help others.


Atiti for christ on April 08, 2010:

That's interesting and informative.Its quite a good knowledge i have received which has now empowered me to do greater exploit for the Lord Almighty.God Bless you!

Unchained Grace from Baltimore, MD on February 03, 2010:

ecoggins, even before we go out on street ministry or prison ministry, we put in the requisite 25-30 hours needed to make sure that all of the above points you stated are covered. Jeremiah 23 is an admonition to those who use the pulpit to further their own agendas. Those who claim to prophesy when God told them nothing. I am very happy you took the time to write this Hub. You are 100% on target concerning the Sunday Service Sermon.

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on January 21, 2010:

to Basile...thank you for the encouraging note. I pray the Lord will bless you too.

Basile on January 21, 2010:

Im glad with this hub, please keep on helping and the good Lord will continue to bless u. I enjoyed every bit of it.

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on January 09, 2010:

to dingdong nollora, I am so glad that I could be of service to you. I pray the Lord bless you and multiply your ministry as you are faithful to him and his Son Jesus Christ.

dingdong nollora on January 09, 2010:

thanks hub.. i am one of the youth ministers in our congregation in butuan city, philippines. i do preach also in the pulpit during my sundays schedule, and i see myself reading my sermon instead of preaching it.. thanks for the bonus tip.. God bless!

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on January 01, 2010:

joque, it is my pleasure to serve you. I pray that the Lord bless you in everyway and use your messages to move more people closer to him. Amen.

joque on January 01, 2010:

I will be using the info from this great hub. Thank you my Brother

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on December 30, 2009:

godpreacher and israel, thank you for your encouraging comments. I appreciate them very much. It is my pleasure to serve God's Kingdom and his community of believers.

israel on December 30, 2009:

im am inspired,thank you so much

israel on December 30, 2009:

im am inspired,thank you so much

godpreacher from Atlanta,Ga. on December 29, 2009:


very inspirational hub,

we can all use tips to help us draw people to Christ. I have been pastoring for ten years, and for me, it is still a forty hour week of preparation. God Bless

seyiari on October 29, 2009:

thanks for that powerful wite up. but i think motivational speech without the strong backing of the word of God , {i mean the bible , creators manual, the oldest book with the latest news}.., i a mere talk that won't get anywhere

megasuite from Illinois on October 17, 2009:

This was so very informative. I have heard many a preacher say they just let the Spirit lead them- meaning they did not prepare. And, you can hear it in the delivery. But God is faithful; His Word does not return to Him void, so that's the good news. Men & Women of God must be prepared in every way and that's include preparing messages . . .

Megasuite on October 17, 2009:

This was so very informative. I have heard many a preacher say they just let the Spirit lead them- meaning they did not prepare. And, you can hear it in the delivery. But God is faithful; His Word does not return to Him void, so that's the good news. Men & Women of God must be prepared in every way and that's include preparing messages . . .

Amani Placide from All things are possible - BCC on October 05, 2009:

Good message to Amani Placide your friend from the Body of Christ Ministry in Kampala City.

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on October 02, 2009:

Destined to Win: Thank you for the encouraging comment.

Destined To Win on October 01, 2009:

Thanks for sharing this informative hub. I'm sure it will be a great resource for pastors who are looking to effectively communicate the message without diluting it but rather being it.

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on September 13, 2009:

DeBorrah, thank you. Your words are always encouraging.

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans on September 13, 2009:


Great tips as well as motivational!

I especially believe that surrendering to the Lord is key...


ftgfmom on August 25, 2009:

I enjoyed this hub. Thank you for sharing.

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