1. I ask God for the right passage to preach to hit the needs of my audience.
2. I read, study, pray...read, study, pray...(in the words of Derwin Gray, "I marinate on the text.")
3. I ask of the passage "What main thing is the whole thing saying?"
4. I develop a preaching outline based on the text that becomes the skeletal structure for my talk.
5. I hone it and work my outline until it is solidly Biblical, immensely practical and easily memorable.
6. I add to the skeletal structure muscle (Biblical insights), tendons (transitions) and skin (illustrations.)
7. I make sure I have an opener that makes them laugh and a closer that challenges them to change.
8. I practice it in front of my computer and make changes to my sermon as I preach it.
9. I tie my shoes before I preach because it forces me to my knees where I pray for power to preach and divine unction.
10. I preach my sermon as if I were to die right after my closing illustration.