There are three broad categories of preaching. There are homilies that inspire and console, those that educate and enlighten, and those that challenge and correct.
For every challenging homily, there should be many homilies that inspire and motivate and a few that educate.
If one only preaches homilies that challenge, in time the community will become negative and they will begin to emotionally devour each other and those whom they are called to evangelize. Likewise the same happens if one preaches too many homilies that challenge and not enough that inspire.
If one preaches too many homilies that inspire and motivate, soon the community will become soft and will lack fervor and devotion. They will not come to the fear of the Lord described in the Acts of the Apostles and soon they will be a community that fails to be troubled by habitual mortal sin.
If one preaches too many homilies that educate, many will be bored and fail to have the fervor for good works.
The good preacher listens to the interior master and listens to the community and wisely seeks to understand when he should challenge, when he should console/ inspire, and when he should educate.
Inspiring homilies move us toward the goal of holiness by lifting our spirits whereas challenging homilies seek to eliminate bad behavior by stinging our consciences, generally speaking. Educational homilies enlighten the intellect with truth and elevate the mind. All are necessary, but in proper proportion.
God deals with us in a similar fashion. He consoles us with favors and delights and then he allows for sufferings and aridities to purify our love. Seeing this process within allows us to see it within our community.
Listening and receptivity are essential when trying to discover what the Holy Spirit wishes to say to your community.
The foundation is prayer. No amount of study can replace our need to encounter Jesus Christ and to speak from this encounter.