10 Questions Every Pastor Should Ask About His Preaching
Today, I am honored to provide you a guest post by Charles StoneÂ who heads up Stonewell Ministries.Â Charles helps pastors and churches get unstuck by applying neuroleadership insight to the art of spiritual leadership.Â Â He has become a good online friend and you should check out his blog by clicking here.
His first book, Daughters Gone Wild-Dads Gone Crazy, co-authored withÂ his daughter Heather, was featured on the Dr. Laura Show as a feature book. Together theyÂ appeared in a two-part series on Focus on the Family with Dr. James Dobson.Â TheirÂ book earned the 2007Â Writer of the Year Award at the Write-to-Publish Conference held at Wheaton College. Â
10 Questions Every Preacher Should Ask About His PreachingÂ is recent post from Charles.Â I’m honored to share it with you.
“Every Sunday something happens over 400,000 times in the US.
A pastor preaches a sermon.
If an average sermon lasts about 30 minutes and if roughly 56 million people attend on an average Sunday, then church attenders in Americaâ€™s churches spend this amount of time listening to our sermons each week.
- 23,000,000 man hours
- which equals 958,000 days
- which equals 136,904 weeks
- which equals 2,632 years
And if the average pastor spends 10 hours preparing a sermon, all told pastors will spend the following amount of time in weekly sermon prep.
- 4,000,000 man hours
- which equals 166,666 days
- which equals 23,800 weeks
- which equals 457 years
Putting it all together, each week sermons gobble up three centuries of man-hours. If you multiply that over a yearâ€™s time . . . well, you do the math.
When I calculated this number, it boggled my mind. That statistic then begged this question.
What spiritual return is our preaching giving us?
I know we canâ€™t measure the eternal impact from our sermons. However, the amount of time we invest in them and the time people invest in listening to them should cause us to pause and evaluate. These numbers caused me to think.
Take a few moments and consider these ten questions. As you read them ask yourself if the Lord is prompting you to make some changes to maximize your sermonsâ€™ spiritual impact.
- Do I spend sufficient time preparing my heart to preach (ie: spiritual disciplines, stillness, character development)?
- Do I spend sufficient time with people to understand the issues they face that need a word from God?
- Am I being true to what the biblical writers intended when I preach?
- Am I willing to get honest feedback from people who can help me improve my preaching?
- Do I make my preaching more about Him and less about me and what others may think about my preaching?
- What am I doing to improve my study and presentation skills?
- Am I willing to preach on unpopular subjects about which the Scripture speaks?
- Do I spend sufficient time thinking about ways that could maximize the listenerâ€™s attention so as to increase their retention of my sermons?
- Do I always tie my sermons to the overarching redemptive theme of the Gospel?
- Do I approach preaching as a hallowed trust?
Perhaps the venerable Haddon Robinson captured the essence of preaching when we wrote this in his excellent book, Biblical Preaching.
When you get right down to it, preaching is like farming. I often say, â€œLord, here I am. As far as I can tell, Iâ€™ve tried to fill my sack with good seed. Iâ€™ve done my homework, I think my attitude is right, and itâ€™s the best, most interesting seed Iâ€™ve got. Iâ€™m going to scatter it now, Lord. So here goes. Weâ€™ll see what comes up in the field.â€ Then, once Iâ€™ve sown the seed, I do what farmers do: I go home and rest.
What questions would you add to this list?”
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