Saturday, September 3, 2011

What Makes A Good Sermon?

He was serious and not in any way jesting when he asked, "I like my pastor a lot, but can you tell me why his sermons are so boring?" A hundred answers ran through my mind as I thought about that question but the over-riding thought that invaded my mind was, "I hope no one thinks I am boring."

A Lilly-endowed study of over 10,000 Christian laypeople revealed that while 78 percent of believers have never discussed a sermon with their preacher, believers have strong opinions about sermons. The study found that:
  • People listen to a sermon expecting inspiration to encourage spiritual growth
  • People look to preaching for spiritual leadership, especially as it relates to current life and societal issues
  • People rely on preaching for serious spiritual content abou the bible ad not simply advice that can be found in any self-help book
  • People listen to preaching expecting a long-lasting impact
  • People come to church hoping for a sermon that will make a difference in their hearts and an impact on their lives
What do you want in a sermon? What are your expectations as you listen to a message? What do you think makes a good sermon?  What was last Sunday's sermon title, text, subject, proposition, and objective?



Larri said...

Hey Gregg! I suspect your sermons are anything but boring. ☺

Your bulleted points pretty much sum up what I expect from a good sermon. Last weeks sermon questions...I don't remember the title. It was about tithing, referencing Malachi 3, and why we need to step out in faith and allow God to fulfill His promise of blessing us. It was excellent. Happy Saturday! ☺

PS...Charles Stanley gave the sermon. You can hear it online at In Touch..


I always come back to the following definition: "A good sermon comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable."


A good sermon is someone who can hold the congregations attention.

Take care.

Mike said...

Strong biblical content spoken with enthusiasm and authority. After all, preaching is an art form that is fundamentally public speaking...focusing on the word of God. If it's not delivered well, it is difficult to bear. Yes, the Holy Spirit speaks through boring sermons and preachers, but I have a hunch He gets more people's attention through well-delivered messages.

H.E.R. Impressions said...

I enjoyed the post. I've had to sit through a lot of "bad" sermons in our search for a church home. Most haven't been bad doctrinally, but so many pastors tend to share anecdotes and ramble on about unrelated items in their sermon. It seems to be a problem quite common in this area and perhaps in rural churches throughout the country. I think many of these churches stay small as a lot of people won't tolerate this approach to preaching.

I really desire some spiritual meat when I hear a sermon. I want to be challenged, convicted and learn something new. I really dislike shallow preaching that's only merely a milkshake and lacks a slab of steak.

Petra said...

A sermon is a good sermon when the pastor is full of God (His word, truth and attributes) rather than himself!

Robin said...

Great post! I think the reason I love my church so much is for the sermons, and of course all the wonderful work they do out in our community. But the sermons hooked me in from the first visit. Not only do our pastors talk about and explain scripture, they always find a way to make it relevant in today's my life! There are times when I think there must be a hidden camera in my house that is prompting the message of the day :).

The sermons at our church are also full of laughter and messages where the pastors let everyone know they are just like everyone else, no better, and they share their trials as well. They even dress in casual clothing. I love it!