Monday, June 05, 2017

Dear Preacher

As a preacher who sometimes has to listen to sermons, and indeed wants to be helped by them, please indulge me for a moment.

I hope you will think this post is stating the obvious. And we can all have our off-days or preach a dud sermon. I imagine many of mine would require some pretty firm feedback. But please could we resolve to do this:

Sermons should have a point. They may have points. They probably usually should. But they really should be purposeful. What is the point of your sermon? Do you know? Could you tell me?

Sermons should be intentional messages aimed at changed thinking, feeling, willing, praying, praising, living, relating, speaking, or some other transformed outcome. That is what they are - what they are for. Unless you do that, you have given a lecture or read out a potential commentary or told stories or jokes or made noise, but you have not preached.

Now God is gracious and sovereign, good. You may not have it all sown up. There may be lots of other good things along the way. But please don't get into the pulpit unless you can briefly and clearly state at least one truth to do with God, Jesus or the Bible which you hope to impress upon your hearers and one way in which you have prayed that they will respond. I'm sorry, but I really think it is worth deliberately bothering with the old theme and aim sentences in your preparation. One big truth and the difference it should make, please.

It is not rocket science, really, is it? So please, don't just fill x number of minutes with true statements or walk us through a passage of Scripture. Think and pray about your application and try to push beyond, "Isn't that remarkable / great!".

Thank you. And with my love and prayers.

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