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Reggie Jackson, Sammy Sosa, Andres Galarraga, Jose Canseco, and Willie Stargell. They hit a combined 2,500-plus home runs in their careers. They are among the greatest baseball players ever. But this list, in this order, also represents the all time leaders in strikeouts—more than 10,000 times. For every one home run, they struck out four times!

When it comes to preaching, not every sermon is a homer. And while we occasionally whiff, we can minimize the likelihood if we remember—and avoid—a few of today's common missteps.

The Passion Pit

John Wesley was once asked how he drew such crowds to hear him preach. He responded, "I light myself on fire and people come to watch me burn!" His fire was his passion for the gospel.

People are drawn to preaching that is passionate and offered with conviction. Passion comes when the preacher has spent significant time with the text, and when God has spoken through the text in a way that addresses the preacher's life first. ...

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