Preach Better Sermons or Else

imprrh@gmail.com —  June 20, 2017

Every weekend around 6,500 Adventist churches in the NAD have services where a sermon is preached. Some of them are home runs. Some just make you want to go home early (and you are the one delivering it!). No one hits a home run every time, but there are ways you can raise your batting average. Here are four ways you can get better this week.

  1. Helpful truth. I am planning to write a book later this year about this concept. Sermons strike out when there is:

-Truth without application.

-Self-help without the gospel.

Instead of waiting until the end of the sermon to apply it, I use the following template in EVERY one of my points: (see connecting phrases in each point)

Teaching- what it teaches us

Illustration- its like

Application- in the same way

  1. The connection with service.

Helpful quote: Thirty years ago the most effective form of evangelism was widely believed to be a straight-out, in-your-face, confront-the-sinner declaration of salvation available through Christ. A decade or two ago, evangelism shifted to a focus on personal relationships, cultivated with eternity in mind. We believe we âre undergoing another shift today, wherein doing good in the world is a powerful apologetic to those who are seeking God.

(2014-09-19). Churchless: Understanding Today’s Unchurched and How to Connect with Them (Kindle Locations 2424-2427). Tyndale Momentum. Kindle Edition.

I mention in every sermon a service act, desire or initiative that the church is doing or should be doing. People assume the church only cares about your money and is insulated. Many churches have specific initiatives that are blessing the community and are completely bypassed from the pulpit.

  1. Bookends matter. One of my pet peeves is preachers that make two mistakes:

Take a while to take off because of greetings, long intros and otherwise super life changing items like ANNOUNCEMENTS right before they preach.

Take a while to land. Land the plane. Don’t be a liar. Don’t say “in conclusion” and then speak for another 20 minutes. Stop it. No one likes it, not even your spouse.

  1. Short. No one ever said: “That was 1.5 hours of preaching and I loved it!” Taking forever in the pulpit usually indicates you flaked in you preparation.

What are your pet-peeves? How are you improving? Share in the comment section.

imprrh@gmail.com

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2 responses to Preach Better Sermons or Else

  1. Jennifer Schwirzer June 20, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Pet peeve: Feeling emotionally manipulated by a highly skilled actor in the pulpit. Favorite: When preachers actually shed real, broken tears because they’re so emotionally invested they can’t help it.

  2. I like Andy Stanley’s ” Communicating for Change” , short and simple with “A” point to get the church moving in a Jesus like direction.