Once during a closed brainstorming session with some church folk I asked, “If you could tell your pastor one thing, what would it be?” One gentleman responded that his minister needed to understand there is a big difference between WHAT and HOW. I asked him to be more specific.
“It’s like when my wife tells me to fix the upstairs toilet. ‘It’s leaking at the base,’ she informs me. So that’s the WHAT she wants me to do. I clearly understand the WHAT. It’s the HOW I’m hung up on. ‘At the longest, my dad could fix any toilet in an hour,’ she badgers me. ‘So what do you mean you don’t know how?’ Two dreadful hours later, with water dripping through the floor to the downstairs and a cracked toilet bowl at my feet, she realizes I’m not exactly a union plumber. I’m not self-taught in this skill like her dad was. I’m basically inept! Now toilets are a topic we avoid talking about if possible.”
His comments made sense. WHAT is one thing; HOW is something else altogether. Too many sermons just stop once the response has been clearly stated. “Now you get out there and fix those toilets,” the minister essentially says. That’s not too different from this gentleman’s wife. No help is offered by spelling out a practical how-to. One of the reasons for this being the case is that the how-to is seldom found in the biblical text. And most of the ministers I know feel most comfortable when they can quote Scriptures to back up their words.
The reason how-to’s aren’t found in the Bible is because times and cultures change. How to “fix a toilet” in Old Testament days differs considerably from the way one would go about it now. (Although a shovel and some distance from the camp is recommend in Leviticus!)
Sunday’s coming. Do you have your sermon ready? Is it relevant? Will it effectively motivate your congregation to walk more in step with the Master? What about that Sermon Series you’ve been thinking about?
Or, if you’re someone who plans well ahead, have you asked yourself what you will preach for your Easter Sermon, your Advent Sermon, your Christmas Sermon?
David Mains and Mainstay Ministries can help. We offer a wide variety of Sermon Starters and Full Sermons that will give you Sermon Ideas to help you prepare for regular Saturday or Sunday sermons, Mid-week Bible Sermons, and Sermons for special occasions.
We also offer assistance as you create Topical Sermons, Sermons Series, and sermons for special times of the year. We have resources available to help you with Advent Celebrations, Advent Sermons, Christmas Sermons, Easter Sunday Sermons, Patriotic Sermons, and more.
For more information on how to create better Bible Sermons and how to turn Sermon Ideas into Sermon Outlines, and then into effective, meaningful Sunday Sermons, please click here to visit David Mains’ website.
You will also find a variety of resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries website. Just click here.