I have never met a preacher who did not want to increase the effectiveness of his sermon. The question is where to start?
We often, and rightly so, head over toward the practical application of the Word itself. We spend more time praying, reading, studying, writing and thinking. These are good and right. I encourage all of this. But the focus of this post is a little different. Without discounting these, I want to just highlight a few practical items that I have seen work well in the church where I serve.
I am obviously not John Piper and don’t pretend to be him on Sunday morning, but people at Emmaus Bible Church like my preaching.
I think that some of these practical items below have helped.
1. Make the preaching on Sunday a.m. a big deal.
I remember visiting with a seasoned pastor before we started down the church planting road. I asked him for a few top priorities for me in taking on this task. He said, “Make Sunday morning like NFL Game Day.” His point was to make Sunday morning, and in particular the Word preached, to be the highlight of the week.
In short, he was saying to get people to love the Word and the preaching of it. I have endeavored to do this. We are not there but…it is something I am chasing.
2. Encourage (expect) members to do their own sermon prep.
We recently have gone through What Is a Healthy Church Member in our home groups. In that book, Thabiti has a chapter on being an expositional listener. Each group spent time talking about what this means for us as a church and individuals. We have also done several blog posts on the church website discussing the book Expository Listening.