Could the Preaching be Better?

I wish I was better at it, but I’m not.

Better At What?

Better at preaching. I’ve been preaching for forty years and still haven’t figured out what people want to hear. I’ve delivered around 3,500 sermons, a number representing Sunday morning and evening sermons, workshops, meetings, seminars, retreats, and special occasions. 

I’ve probably improved over the years, but who knows?

The Comments

Over the last several weeks, with a few weeks to go, I’ve conducted vision groups with my church. Each group has averaged about 15 people with a total of 27 groups. When finished I will have met with about half of the adult congregation. 

I ask each group the same three questions, primarily for their feedback relating to our vision for the future. But one of the questions addresses our worship services, including the sermons. Here are a few of the comments I’ve received about my preaching:

  1. Sermons are too long.
  2. Sermons are too short.
  3. Need sermons that have more heart.
  4. Need sermons that address personal struggles.
  5. Need sermons about coping with culture.
  6. Need sermon series that are topical.
  7. Need sermon series that go through books of the bible.
  8. Need sermons with fire and brimstone.
  9. Need more sermons that step on our toes.
  10. Need sermon series about other beliefs.
  11. Need more lessons about family. 
  12. Need more lessons from your holy land travels.
  13. Need lessons that teach us how to defend our faith.
  14. Need lessons about coping with failure. 
  15. Need lessons that teach us how to live right.
  16. Could the sermon notes be printed each week?
  17. Could you speak louder?
  18. Could you speak softer? 
  19. Could you preach sermons like I used to hear when I was young.
  20. We should not have sermons every week. 

 None of them were critical, negative or unkind. They were just comments.

And…?

Well, I appreciate the feedback. I do. I don’t know what I’m going to do with all of it, but I appreciate it. 

I think they like it that I took the time to ask. In the interest of full disclosure, there’s been many comments about how much the sermons are appreciated.

 I can’t please everyone all of the time. Actually, I can’t please everyone any of the time. Perhaps the goal is to please a majority of the people a majority of the time.

IMG_9486
Maybe if I were more sophisticated, or polished, or better attired? 

In Closing

I preach what the Lord puts on my heart. I preach what comes out of my study, prayers, and mediation. I preach what the Holy Spirit gives me. Is it effective? Is it what people want to hear? I don’t know. I’ve never been very good at figuring out what people want to hear. 

I wish I was better at it, but I’m not.

Shalom

 

One thought on “Could the Preaching be Better?

  1. Rick,
    I believe your sermons are great and I loof forward to hearing them each week. Please do not feel discouraged. You are doing a great Job. Remember, I said you were the most “alive” preacher I have ever heard. Keep up the good work.

    Like

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