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The Truth will set you free

How to Evaluate Sermons


(by Joel Beeke)

How do you evaluate yourself as a preacher? A preacher’s view of his own messages can be an emotional roller-coaster ride driven by his moods and the responses of the congregation. We dare not evaluate ourselves by measurable results such as increased attendance or new members joining the church, for people often flock to false teachers like flies to manure. Nor can we gauge our effectiveness by a brother who shoots out of a worship service like a bullet out of a rifle while a woman gets misty-eyed and emotional in shaking your hand after a sermon. For all you know, the brother was suddenly taken ill, and the sister received bad news yesterday about a distant relative. Neither response necessarily has anything to do with your preaching.

My father was once so moved by a child’s intense listening that he questioned her about what she found so important. She responded, ‘I was trying to figure out if you had shaved this morning.’

We must regularly evaluate our preaching to know if we are growing as preachers. Charles Spurgeon (1834–1892) said to his ministerial students, ‘I give you the motto, ‘Go forward.’ Go forward in personal attainments, forward in gifts and in grace, forward in fitness for the work, and forward in conformity to the image of Jesus.’ He went on to say, ‘If there be any brother here who thinks he can preach as well as he should, I would advise him to leave off altogether.

‘A preacher needs to read some part of a book on preaching each month, more or less of it, to think about what he is saying and how his sermons might be made more lucid, interesting, warmer, more motivational, inspirational, convicting and glorifying to the Lord Jesus Christ – what a need to consider this awesome task, and what lasting fruit might come from every such endeavour. We can all improve as preachers. I have to feel that I am a growing preacher, and test such convictions by hearing other men I admire whose ministry is a consistent blessing to me, and reading what they say about preaching. So it is that these words of my dear friend Joel Beeke have searched and encouraged me. They are fascinating, and I particularly liked them because they were not crushing words, rather sensible, winsome and practical. Thank God for them.

Geoff Thomas

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  • Model: 9780852347782
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  • Published by: Evangelical Press

This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 12 December, 2013.

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