Today’s article is taken from a book on preaching by J.J. Turner. He gives a very concise, yet informative and challenging perspective on preaching. I try to keep this article in mind while preparing and preaching sermons.
Criticism of preaching has been around a long time. After hearing Paul preach in Athens, the Epicureans called him a babbler (Acts 17:18). Today, attack after attack is still being herald against preaching and especially pulpit preaching. This raises a question: “When is a sermon successful?” I believe the following points help answer this question:
1) A sermon is successful if it is true to God’s word.
2) A sermon is successful if it is preached in love.
3) A sermon is successful if it is prepared to meet a need.
4) A sermon is successful if it is spoken so all can understand
5) A sermon is successful if it glorifies God.
6) A sermon is successful if it challenges people to think.
A successful sermon is not determined by how many people come forward, the speaker’s rhetoric ability, its entertaining value, or how many favorable comments it receives. Any time the word of God is spoken in love to meet a need, it’s successful and brings glory to God. Let’s measure a sermon’s success by God’s standard—not man’s ! As gospel preachers, may our aim ever be to “PREACH THE WORD.” J.J. Turner