One of the great dangers in preaching, particularly when you are new to the experience, is that of padding out your message. You feel that you don’t have enough material and will not go the distance and so you add extras in to the message.
I have written here about the issue of pruning in preaching. In that instance there is the problem of having gathered too much detail into your sermon. In speaking of padding out your preaching I am dealing with the reverse problem. Although they very much bear on the same issue; that of making sure you have the appropriate material in your preaching.
All messages need to properly be developed so that they are suitable for the context in which they are preaching. Giving consideration to this is all a proper part of preparing. I have written here about the issue of contextualising preaching. Having navigated through all the issues of preparing properly then there is the need evaluate that you are presenting a message which is suitable.
If we conclude rightly or wrongly, that we have too little material, there is a tendency to pad out our message so that we fill out the time. This leads to extraneous material getting into the sermon and the sermon becomes clogged with all sorts of stuff which take away from the message God has given you. It is better to be too short than to be too clogged.
There are no doubt many fine balances here. But we need to fight against the issue of unnecessarily bolstering a sermon. Develop the sermon fully, but don’t pad it out.