My Goal in Preaching

I think the biggest compliments I receive are when jr high or high school students say that they enjoy my preaching. And because I know I'm not a funny communicator or amazing story teller, I know that it likely is content and style of communication that they enjoy and captures their attention. I've often said that I have two targets in my preaching:

  1. A person who trusted Christ on Thursday. Everything I say on Sunday should make sense to him. They have the Spirit of Christ in them and all things are now new.
  2. An 8th grade boy who grew up in church. They expect to be bored in church. My job is to not let that happen.

If I can capture the attention of those two people – I am hitting my target.

To do that – I focus on this one thing… Study rigorously and deeply so I can preach clearly and simply.

On second thought… teens who enjoy my preaching are not my biggest compliment. More specifically, when my daughters express their enjoyment of my preaching – those are compliments I will hang onto forever.



  1. I just read your blog and it made me miss your preaching!! You were always someone that could hold my interest, teach me many things, and help me understand and love God more in a 45 minute sermon. Reading that you plan sermons for 8th grade boys who grew up in church and expect to be bored reminded me of a comment I heard on the radio today. I’m not entirely sure who it was from but I want to say John Piper???? The discussion was along the lines of the miraculous work of God is anything but boring and as a result our Sunday sermons should be anything but boring. There should be excitement in teaching and hearing the word of God.

    Give my best to Sue and the girls!! Hope you all are well. I miss you all!!!

  2. Our 13 year old has been attending the “regular” church services since he was 10. He has always been engaged, interested, and certinaly NOT bored. You’ve been hitting the mark there. 🙂 One thing I have always appreciated about your preaching style is how attainable it is for newcomers and how approachable you seem to be to “laymen” who may be turned off by alot of “Christian-ese” and a lot of showy terminology. (Best to save that stuff for theology classes. 😉 HOWEVER, your message always carries great substance, and deep significance. This is NOT an easy balance, and it is one of the biggest reasons that visits to other churches leave us feeling that something was “missing” from the preaching we heard that day. 😀

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