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6 Sermon Myths We Need to Bust

5. Topical preaching isn’t faithful preaching

Some people argue the only preaching that’s faithful is biblical, expository preaching.

I think expository preaching can be amazing. But by that standard, Jesus was a failure.

Jesus was a more thorough student of the Scriptures than anyone who ever lived. Yet his primary mode of communication wasn’t verse-by-verse exposition of the Old Testament.

He told stories. He engaged people. He addressed issues in their lives.

Topical preaching isn’t the only way to preach, but it’s a helpful way to preach.

Preachers have a responsibility to cover the major issues in the Christian faith and the scriptures in their preaching.

If you’re going to engage truly unchurched people, one very effective way to do it is to frame what people need to know in the context of what people want to know.

So if you want to cover the scriptures’ teaching about love, do it from the angle of relationships, marriage, break ups or the like. That way, you cover what they need to know but engage them based on what they want to know.

That’s not unfaithful. It’s just effective.

6. The listener’s job is to evaluate what they got out of a message

Critics. Got to love ’em.

And we’re all critics.

Too many times I’ve listened at a message rather than to a message.

And that’s because somewhere along the way many of us have bought into the lie that we need to evaluate a church by what we get out of it.

That’s not Christianity. That’s consumerism.

You get out of a message what you put into a message.

Lean in.


Look for God.



If you can’t find anything to apply in a message, it’s because you didn’t put in enough.

Finally, I need to remember that criticism is a form of lazy arrogance.

If all I do is criticize a message, it says “I put in 1/100th of the effort you did, but I could have done better.”

If you could have done that much better, then do it.

Any Other Myths?

If you want to be a better communicator, don’t forget to explore the rest of the series (links above) and to try Preaching Rocket for free for seven days.

In addition, here’s my conversation with Jeff Henderson on how to become a better communicator, from Episode 16 of my Leadership Podcast. (You can subscribe for free on iTunes.)

Got a myth you want to bust?