STR: Are Sermons Enough?

Stand to Reason has a blog post this morning asking the question: Are Sermons enough? An excerpt from the post:


I came across this Chinese proverb recently:

"I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand."

For any of us who want to help Christians grow in knowledge, wisdom, and character, I have a question:

Can we continue to rely on sermons as the primary educational vehicle in our churches?

Lecture-type presentations are an essential piece to the puzzle, to be sure, but let’s be honest about how much the average listener remembers from a typical sermon. Even more importantly, let’s be honest about how much of the material we present the average listener actually uses after we are long gone.

I have to admit, many sermons, even good ones, don’t do much for me after I walk out. Some sermons leave me wondering how much time preachers ended up with for preparation at the end of the week. Our preachers are normally good, but some weeks I wonder if they didn’t just dust off an old sermon or borrow one from online. That is no joke; I’ve seen it happen. One year for Easter, our minister Dan used one of Rick Warren’s sermons. I know this for a fact because I run the computer and sound system and I had the sermon transcript and Rick Warren’s name was crossed off and replaced with Dan’s. Being Easter Sunday, the message was hardly relevant. It was along the lines of “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” I had it figured out before I saw Rick Warren’s name. I’m not complaining; I’m just saying.

I personally prefer the expositional sermon. I’m not too fond of topical sermons. I seem to get more out of a sermon that focuses on teaching the Bible. The Holy Spirit can give me the meaning and application. I’d love to sit in a church under a preacher like John MacArthur.

It’s not that I sit in the pew looking to critique, but I have caught a few gaffes. I remember one sermon not too long ago where Paul’s first and second imprisonments were confused.

In any case, back to the point of my link to STR, I think they are right. I have a bad habit of wanting to sit around studying the Bible, but I know I fall short on taking the Word out to the world. We’re in a small group this year that plans to focus on one service project a month, so we’ll see where that leads. I could use some leading into real world ministry.

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