After listening to a sermon, I thought about what I want in the sermon. Here are a few of the primary things that I want from a sermon. I especially want these things from a black preacher preaching a black sermon.
1. One Thought
Please have only one main thought and supporting thoughts. As I think about some of the more difficult sermons that I have listened to I begin to realize that often the preacher jumps from thought to thought without giving adequate exposition to any of them. If there is more than one main thought give me some kind of handout so that I can remember it. If it isn’t worth remembering it probably isn’t worth hearing.
2. Something to Take Home
Give me at least one thing to take home. Preferably it will be the main point of the sermon, but if not I will probably only pick one thing and forget everything else. Please help me determine what I should remember to take home.
In addition, give me something that I can apply when I get home. Theory is good and necessary, but if you don’t apply it, most of us will not be able to use it. My homiletics professor said that we should make sure that the Gospel is portable.
3. Do Not Bore Us
Do not bore the people. I am coming more to the conclusion that boring the people is sin. If you can’t make the Gospel exciting you probably are doing something wrong! Please note that I am not speaking of sensationalism, but something is wrong when a reasonably connected member who has come to hear a word from the Lord is put to sleep.
4. Know Your Sermon
Know Your Sermon. Practice your sermon. In addition don’t steal anyones sermon without giving proper credit and making the sermon your own.
5. Illustrations that Do Not Confuse
Do not use illustrations only a PhD can understand. I saw one sermon where the preacher put up a CAT scan of a Brain. It didn’t clarify anything and probably caused many minds to think about something else.
If you have 300 people in the audience and you preach for half an hour that is 150 man-hours that are spent listening to the sermon. Don’t waste those 150 hours!