Here is an article by Charles Swindoll that seeks to answer the question, “Why are some Preacher’s Better than Others?” In it he gives three things that go into all good preaching:
- Good Preparation
A good sermon must have good preparation. Without it you will say the same thing over and over again. In addition, you will not have the ability to leave your notes and thus it will cut down on your interaction with the people. Also, keep in mind, if you make a general practice of not being prepared, the people will know it.
One preacher said, “If your sermon is boring it is not the gospel’s fault. The Gospel ain’t boring.” Some of this is the format of the sermon. There are some preachers who take an educational lecture as the model of their sermon preparation and delivery. However the sermon, in my understanding, is an encounter of the people with the Gospel. It is a happening and not just simply an educational lecture. A preacher can be interesting if the Gospel has first touched her or his heart. If the preacher can get excited about it, it will be much more difficult to be a boring presentation.
What difference does this sermon make for daily living? Too many sermons are just teaching a doctrine and tacking on an application at the end. The preacher should really ask the question what difference does the doctrine that I wish to preach have for daily living. Then the preacher should emphasize that difference in the preaching event.
I wish to hasten to add that I am not talking about the sermons that are totally “how-to” and devoid of doctrinal or theological content, but those great sermons that take a doctrine and show how it is relevant and helpful for our daily living.
Swindall provides a helpful start to help us understand what makes a great sermon, what do you think should be added to the list?