What produces a powerful sermon?

There are many correct answers to this question:  the power of the Word of God, the filling and movement of the Holy Spirit, the giftedness of the preacher, the eagerness of the people to hear, all could be mentioned when this question is asked.  Yet, I want to mention one answer that is commonly overlooked when considering the power of preaching and what produces a moving sermon preached that brings spiritual fruit from God.  I think this one overlooked aspect of powerful preaching is best summarized by the 19th century English pastor, Archibald Brown:

Oh, brethren and sisters, I would to God I could speak to you this morning as I would.  I only wish I could make this text blaze away before you eyes as it has before my own. I would that its tremendous force might be realized by you, as it has been felt in my own heart before coming here.  Oh, how it would shake some of you out of your selfishness, out of your worldliness, out of your pandering to the maxims of this world.

Brown’s words capture well an essential element to a powerful sermon, that is, the preacher first be deeply affected by the word he steps into the pulpit to preach.  Before the preacher can persuade any sinner to turn to Christ, he must first be persuaded himself.  Before the preacher can convince any Christian to trust in the promises of God, he must first believe those promises.

Pastors, as you prepare to preach God’s word and feed the souls of your people this week, make sure that word you study has changed you.  Make sure it is a part of you and that you truly believe what you are preparing to preach so that you are able to preach with an earnestness that only comes from someone who has met with God and experienced his help.

Posted in Preaching, The Pastor's Soul
2 comments on “What produces a powerful sermon?
  1. Great thought here. A good reminder and one that I will take to heart this week and from here on out. Blessings!

  2. Tim says:

    As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
    Power in preaching comes in being sent to deliver the message to those who have no one to tell them and have not heard it once yet.

    How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?
    And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?
    And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
    And how are they to preach unless they are sent?

    The American church is completely preoccupied with preaching to those who have heard 1000+ sermons. It is completely assumed that every believer needs to hear one every week of their lives till the day they die. It is completely assumed these saints will never grow up to the fullness of the image of Christ where they can feed each other the Word. These assumptions nullify the commands of God which shut down His power. Increase the obedience = increase the power of God.

    Preaching to those who have heard 1000+ Bible lectures will always lack power because it nullifies God’s instructions from Genesis to Revelations to bring the good news to every tribe. It forces God’s people to only release 10 – 15% of their giving to send preachers to those who have no one to tell them and have never heard.

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  1. […] There are many biblical answers to the question, “What produces a powerful sermon.” Brian Croft provides a solidly biblical response in What Produces a Powerful Sermon?  […]

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