Home Pastors Articles for Pastors 6 Things Pastors Should Say in Every Sermon

6 Things Pastors Should Say in Every Sermon

every sermon

The weekly sermon—whether delivered on Saturday night, Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon, Sunday night or watched later online—is the singular time each week the pastor has to address the most people at once. One important reason for the gathering is to hear the message. Does God have anything to say in every sermon? What does He have to say?

In the second decade of the 21st century, those of us tasked with preaching and teaching God’s Word on a regular basis face challenges different from those who preceded us. We preach to congregations who are less and less biblically literate. We preach to congregations who are influenced as much by what they read during the week as by what they hear on Sunday. We preach to guests who were not raised with a Christian worldview. We preach to people who are close to being “done” with church once and for all.

As such, it is important to never assume a baseline of biblical knowledge when preaching, even if you are preaching to your church for the 532nd time. It is better, in fact, to assume exactly the opposite: expect there to be people seated before you who know little of Christianity, little of the Bible and nothing accurate about God.

Many of the insider comments we make as pastors (“an epistle is the wife of an apostle,” “it’s in Hezekiah or Second Opinions,”) are not only lost on people of this age, but could make them feel even more like outsiders than they already do.

To address the reality of the unreached and those lacking knowledge among us, here are six things pastors should say in every sermon.

1. In every sermon, explain where to find the text: “Now, you can find the book of Galatians…”

Don’t just say Psalms 119:5. Explain where to find it in the Bible. Mention that is starts with a “p” not an “s.” Do not assume everyone under the sound of your voice knows anything about Psalms. Start from scratch every week. Also, if your church uses “pew Bibles” use the page number each week. Add it to the title slide if you use Power Point or other presentation software for notes.

2. In every sermon, explain the two testaments: “You may not know, but the Bible is divided into two parts called ‘testaments.’”

Every time I introduce a sermon I explain there is an Old Testament and a New Testament. The Old Testament is the first part of the Bible and the New Testament is the second part of the Bible. It’s a brief but instructive way to get that distinction into the minds of those who lack biblical knowledge.