I heard a good sermon the other week. It was actually a really good sermon. It was clear, interesting, biblical, passionate, and Christ-centered. It made me grateful for good preachers and good preaching.
It occurred to me after the sermon: there is nothing in the sermon that is out of reach for even middling preachers. This isn’t to deny that some are more gifted at preaching, but there is hope for even those of us who are average.
The sermon was characterized by a few qualities that are within reach of almost everyone:
- It was biblical – The thoughts of the text were the thoughts of the sermon. This is more a matter of hard work than anything else.
- It was clear – I heard someone say that Haddon Robinson’s preaching method in Biblical Preaching turns average preachers into great ones. Forming a sermon around the central idea of the text gives a lot of clarity, and that clarity is incredibly powerful.
- It was passionate – The preacher had taken the time to preach the message to himself. He had soaked in the text, and it had changed him. This, again, is possible for all of us.
- It was Christ-centered. The sermon grabbed hold of Christ. It exposed human need and how the gospel meets that need.
After the sermon was over, I gave thanks for the message. I was also thankful for the preacher and the work he’d put into the sermon. But I was also encouraged that the qualities that made that sermon good are within reach of all of us.