Three questions to ask so I know if a sermon is ready to preach: (and these are the best questions to help evaluate someone's sermon)
1. Was it accurate?
- Was it biblically accurate?
- Was it truly based on the Bible?
- Will listeners understand the text better? If they read the passage on Monday, would they be able to explain it to someone else?
2. Was it clear?
- Is the main point clear?
- If someone in their house was sick, would a listener of that sermon be able to give a clear 30 second summary of the point of the message?
3. Was it compelling?
- Did it motivate people to do something specific about what they heard?
- Did they want to think or live differently?
Two out of three isn't enough. It needs to be all three: accurate, clear and compelling.
If a sermon is accurate and clear but not compelling, it is a lecture or lesson, but not a sermon. If a sermon is clear and compelling but not accurate, it is a motivational talk, but not a sermon. If a sermon is accurate and compelling but not clear, it is moving, but no one knows what to do with it, and therefore it isn't a sermon.
My experience says that pastors are focused on being accurate, and don't give nearly the focus to clarity and compelling. They like it when it is clear to others (it is always clear to them), but they don't often realize how unclear it is. But compelling doesn't get nearly the focus that it should.
Pastors – let's be accurate, clear, and compelling.