If you are a dentist you might be interested in the product advertised above. If you are a preacher, the four quadrants I list below are a great way for you to evaluate and potentially elevate your preaching.
Quadrant #1 Am I Biblical?
Most preachers answer, yes, but it’s important to note the difference between preaching from the Bible without preaching the Bible. Biblical preaching occurs when the intention of our sermon matches the intention of the Scripture being preached. Notice I said, intention, not meaning. The two are connected. However, matching intention assures that we are using the Bible in the way God designed it to be used. For instance, if you preach the Parable of the Prodigal and focus on the prodigal son, your intention does not match God’s for Luke 15.
Quadrant #2 Am I Relevant?
Exposition sometimes deserves the bad rap it receives. During student sermons I will sometimes start my stopwatch and mark the time when the preacher strikes relevance (when I hear them speak to me about me from the Bible). In a 15 minute sermon, there have been times when I have stopped the clock at 8 or 9 minutes! Up to that point, I was listening to fairly good exegesis. Just no relevance.
Quadrant #3 Am I Clear?
Have you ever been in a conversation, said something, saw the reaction and said, “I didn’t say that right”? Sermon clarity involves, among other things, choosing the right words to say. While I’m writing my sermon throughout the week, I’m working hard to create clear sentences, sentence fragments (due to conversational style), and clear paragraphs. Besides my Bible, my Reader’s Digest Oxford Complete Wordfinder is the book I consult the most each week. It’s a combination dictionary/thesaurus.
Quadrant #4 Am I Organized?
My wife, Michele, listened to a sermon preached by one of my pastoral colleagues. One thing that stood out to her was how well the sermon flowed. That’s the sign of a well-organized sermon. That kind of organization allows congregants to follow along without getting lost in all the details and without losing sight of the intention.
So, before Sunday, evaluate your sermon:
- Is it biblical?
- Is it relevant?
- Is it clear?
- Is it well-organized?
And, as always, preach so God receives glory in the church and in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:21).
P.S. I was introduced to a similar critique back in the good ole days at DTS in the mid-80’s.