Are members really listening to your sermons? Do your messages resonate with them? Are people being fed and are your sermons helping them? These are probing questions that deserve honest answers. By studying the preaching of Jesus, we can determine how his sermons were effective.
In the gospel of Luke, chapter fifteen, three parables are given. It is sometimes called the lost and found chapter of the Bible. The three parables consist of a lost lamb, a lost coin, and a lost son. What is the point of these three parables? There is one primary point; Jesus is rebuking the scribes and pharisees for murmuring about His association with publicans and sinners. He is concerned for all lost people and wants them to be saved. There are many applications to this passage but clearly there is one main point.
In the sermon on the mount Jesus lists many godly attributes and aspects of Christian living. But even though there are many specific admonitions in these three chapters of Matthew, Jesus has one main point: This is how followers should conduct themselves in His kingdom.
What is your style of preaching? Is there always one main point to the message. I learned soon after I was saved that every message should accomplish one of two tasks. Either keep something from breaking down or to fix something that is broken. After your sermon is prepared you should ask yourself, what is the main point of my message? What am I trying to fix in people’s lives that is broken or what am I doing to prevent them from future problems?
Preaching should always have an aim and that aim should resonate with your people. The shepherd’s job is to feed the sheep. People need more than information! Giving people information about the Bible suggests they do not know their Bible. But very often people already know a lot about the Bible and you are not helping them by telling them what they already know. There must be a challenge to apply what they know.
In His preaching Jesus used many illustrations found in everyday life. Illustrations help to illuminate people’s minds and help them to understand how truth can be applied to their daily lives. Another aspect of Jesus teaching is that He never contradicted Scripture. Many times, He explained the meaning of Old Testament passages and frequently stated, “It is written” meaning it is written in the Old Testament. His teaching was always consistent with the Word of God.
Another method of preaching that should be carefully studied is the use of argument which was typical of the Apostle Paul. We see an example of this style in 1 Corinthians 15:13-15 – “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.”
The goal of preaching is to give people something from the Bible that God has impressed upon you to meet the needs of your members. Through prayer and study, you can feed your flock. If you can give people one point that they will remember and one that they can apply to their daily lives you have done your job. But if you just give them information the sheep may look for another pasture.