104 – Please, Pastor, just one sermon at a time! [Podcast]

Making the most of the incredible opportunity of preaching


Welcome to Season 3 of the Your Church Matters podcastIn this week’s episode, I’m sharing some thoughts for preachers on something every one of us has done at some point: preached one sermon that should have been more than one.



Occupational hazards of highly motivated preachers

  1. We want people to know everything we know about a subject, so we give them too much information in one setting.
  2. We want to share insight that they’ve never heard, so we either dig around in the obscure margins or we try to get too creative.
  3. We want them to be impressed and inspired with our content and our delivery, so we spend too much time crafting and not enough time clarifying.
  4. We want them to respond with changed minds and behavior, so we expect them to come to the same conclusions in half an hour that we have come to in years of study.
  5. We want to be sure that our ministries are Bible-driven, so we try to do too many things from the pulpit.
  6. We want people to believe right things and do right things, so we tell them what to believe and what to do.


In preaching, spend more time clarifying than you spend crafting. Click To Tweet


Plain truth to give us a roadmap to make the most of the opportunity

  1. The power of a sermon is severely overrated when it comes to discipleship, pastoral care, and evangelism.
  2. A very, very small number of preachers can preach effectively for 45 minutes or more. That number is probably one less than you think it is.
  3. If your sermon points have sub-points, you don’t have a sermon; you have a sermon series.
  4. One powerfully clear big idea is more memorable than 3 creatively alliterated points.
  5. One clear, practical application that can be implemented in the next 24 hours is better than 3 abstract Biblical principles.
  6. A personal story of how this works in your life is more meaningful than a well-researched illustration.
  7. A topical sermon can be just as Biblical and effective as an “expository”  verse-by-verse sermon. Look at the sermons recorded in the New Testament.
  8. The sermon is a crucial component of corporate worship, but it is not the central focus. Only Jesus is the center. If corporate worship is a banquet, he is the host, the guest of honor, and the feast all rolled into one.


1 practical application, implementable in the next 24 hrs, is better than 3 abstract principles. Click To Tweet


Resources Mentioned


Alan Hirsch


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*Special thanks to Keith Cooper (Guitar Music for intro)

*Special thanks to Nathan Woodward (Saxophone Music for outro)

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