Martin Luther on the Necessary Qualities of Good Preachers:

1. They should be able to teach in a right and orderly way.

2. They should have a good head.

3. They should be able to speak well.

4. They should have a good voice.

5. They should have a good memory.

6. They should know when to stop.

7. They should be sure of their material and be diligent.

8. They should stake body and life, goods and honor on it.

9. They should suffer themselves to be vexed and flayed by everybody.


6 responses to this post.

  1. I like Luther.

  2. […] Chrysostom, while From the Study goes to John Calvin for some preaching lessons.  Expository Thoughts has Luther’s necessary qualities for […]

  3. The thing that struck me from the list, though, is that a number of effective preachers have not had what I, at least, would call good voices. I think of Swindoll and DeHaan… and aren’t there some old recordings of Harry Ironside? What was remarkable about Lloyd Jones certainly wasn’t his voice.

    Gives me some hope. Wish I had a voice like James Earl Jones, but instead I always sound whiny and nasal and high-pitched to myself. Of course, I blame the sound equipment. (Of course, I really don’t.)

  4. Dan,

    I agree with you. I wish i had John Piper’s voice, though i am grateful i don’t have John MacArthur’s voice (in the early 70’s that is). Pastor MacArthur does have a fine preaching voice now but you are spot on the content of their sermons is so much greater than their great preaching voices.

    Spurgeon and Luther had some interesting qualifications didn’t they….

    Blessings to all- CK

  5. Posted by Terry` on May 22, 2007 at 6:54 am

    1Co 2:1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.

    1Co 2:4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,

    Paul kinda takes away some of those things we see as important. I see Luther’s point, and it never hurts to “speak well” but I will take the empowering of the Holy Spirit over a good speaker any day. Some of the most wise godly men I know are not necessarily good speakers when they preach, but instead profound in what they speak.

  6. […] Workman’s Toolbox * No doubt this will be interest to busy pastors: how to crank through emails more quickly (HT: JT) * A stimulating post about how one preacher incorporates prayer into his sermon prep *Martin Luther on 9 essential qualities of good preachers […]

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