Four More Thoughts

(1) Some ministers are like parrots, getting all their sermon material from books that others have written. They are missing out on a wonderful blessing of being personally taught by the Holy Spirit, and they are also likely to be propagating the errors of those they copy.

(2) Many pastors copy the preaching and teaching styles of other preachers, styles that are often purely traditional. For example, it is thought in some circles that sermons are anointed only when they are loud and fast. Church attendees are thus subject to sermons that are shouted from beginning to end. The reality is that people usually tune out redundant shouting, just like they do when they hear monotone speaking. A varied voice is much more captivating. Moreover, preaching is naturally louder as it is exhortational, whereas teaching is usually done in a more conversational tone because it is instructional.

(3) I’ve observed sermon-listeners in hundreds of church services, and it amazes me that so many preachers and teachers are oblivious to the many indications that people are bored and/or not listening. Pastor, the people who look bored are bored! Those who aren’t looking at you while you speak are probably not listening. People who are not listening are not being helped in the least. If sincere people are being bored and/or not listening, then you need to improve your sermons. Give more examples. Tell relevant stories. Make up parables. Keep it simple. Teach the Word from your heart. Be sincere. Be yourself. Vary your voice. Make eye contact with as many listeners as possible. Use some facial expression. Use your hands. Move around. Don’t speak too long. If the group is small, let people ask questions at any reasonable time.

(4) The idea that every sermon should have three points is just a human invention. The goal is to make disciples, not follow modern homiletic theories. Jesus said, “Feed My sheep,” not “Impress My sheep.”