In this post about ways that preachers can evaluate their own sermons, Kevin DeYoung offers some diagnostic questions preachers can ask themselves about their own preparation and sermons.
The ten questions range across different aspects of the preacher’s life, but I found these three to be challenging in the context of frequent and regular sermon preparation and delivery.
2. Did I learn anything new in my preparation? I love teaching and preaching because I love learning. I have to use old material at times (especially when speaking outside my church), but the thrill of preaching is much less that way. Half the excitement is having learned something new during the week that I get to share with others. Basically, preachers can hold the congregation’s attention in three ways: with the force of their personality, with the genius of their stories, or with the intellectual stimulation of their content. Of course, the Spirit is at work too and can work through all of these. But I think too many preachers run out of interesting things to say so they fall back on their own pathos (sometimes manufactured) to keep people engaged each week.
3. Was I personally moved by anything in my preparation? I don’t just want to learn new things in my study. I want to feel new things, or have old affections rekindled. It is hard for a sermon to move others that hasn’t first moved us.
4. Did the best parts of the sermon come from my closest attention to the text? Too often, the real payoff in the sermon has little to do with exegetical insight from the passage. The power (or so it seems) comes from an illustration, a rant, or a well-placed aside instead of from the treasures we’ve unearthed from the Bible in the past week.
Read the whole post here.