I used to hope that every sermon I preached had power. Now I know better. Every sermon I preach DOES have power as long as I preach the WORD. It is the Word of God that has the power in preaching. My job (and the job of every other preacher out there) is to make sure that we present the Word of God in a clear way. Preaching does no good if it is done in such a way as that no one understands what is being said. That is why I tend to use humor and many illustrations in my preaching.
When I preach, the biggest thing that I have to look out for is that I cloud the Word with my humor or illustrations. Their purpose is to illustrate and enlighten, not become the central theme of the message.
The Word of God is powerful. As preachers and teachers we must make sure that the power of the Word comes through. I know that I have had sermons that were really well received, but the Word of God was weak because I failed to keep the main thing, the main thing. In preaching, the Word of God IS the main thing.
This year, as I plan and write my sermons, it is now my goal (more than ever) to make sure that it is God's Word that shines through. We preachers like to have people consider us "smart" or "witty' but if that is all they are getting from my sermon, I have failed in my responsibility to the Word!
Don't get me wrong, I will still use humor and I will of course still use illustrations (after all the greatest teacher of all time , Jesus, used stories to get His point across), but I will make sure that they do NOT become the focus of the message. God's Word must ALWAYS be that focus! If you hear me preach this year and I fail to make the main thing the main thing, make sure you call me out!