What Was That Sermon About, Anyway?

Do you want your listeners to discuss your sermon? I presume most ministers would respond “yes” to such a question.

My wife and I regularly talk about the sermons we hear. We think this is a good practice. Usually we do this on the way home from church. Sometimes we stop for a meal and continue our discussion over lunch. It’s not infrequent that one or the other person will also refer to the sermon sometime during the day.

One recent message precipitated extremely profitable discussion times for us well into the week. Conversely, another sermon left us with little to talk about. That’s because we couldn’t even figure out what the subject of that sermon was. We both knew the text. It was a Gospel account of one of Jesus’ many miracles, and a good part of the message was a retelling of what happened.

We eventually agreed on what the sermon subject apparently was, but we noted that this didn’t surface until about 20 minutes into the presentation. Working together to come up with this answer, we eventually concluded that to the best of our ability to figure things out, this must have been what his sermon subject was.

“It would certainly have helped if he had told us sooner in the sermon that was where he was headed,” observed my wife.

My response was, “It would have helped him if he could have said sooner what he was preaching about!”

It seems like such an elementary observation to make, but early on in a sermon, a listener ought to be able to identify what the message is about. (Not just the text, but the sermon subject.) Said differently, early on in a sermon, a preacher ought to be able to make clear exactly what it is he/she is talking about!


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, what will you preach for your Easter Sermon, your Advent Sermon, your Christmas Sermon? David Mains and Mainstay Ministries can help you learn how to create better Bible Sermons and how to turn Sermon Ideas into Sermon Outlines, and then into effective, meaningful Sunday Sermons. Just click here to visit David Mains’ website.

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