What makes a great sermon? Is it the preacher’s personality or is it the preacher’s methodology?
Yes, preachers need personality and yes preachers need methodology when it comes to preaching great sermons.
However, Dr Howard Hendricks suggests that the effective preacher or teacher always preachers or teachers from the overflow of a full life. If you stop growing today, you stop teaching tomorrow.
Hendricks makes it very clear that neither personality nor methodology can substitute for one’s personal growth as a preacher or teacher. You cannot communicate out of a vacuum. You cannot proclaim what you do not possess. If you don’t know it – truly know it – you can’t give it.
I always maintain that the greatest teachers and preachers are those who are the greatest students of what they teach and preach. In other words, to be a great preacher or teacher, you must be a great student. To put it another way, you must be primarily a learner, a student among students.
Great teachers and preachers are always asking the question: “How can I improve or how can I keep growing and changing?” Think of it this way: As long as you live, you learn; and as long as you learn, you live.
Hendricks gave an illustration of one of his professors that was at seminary when he was doing his training for ministry. He noticed that this professors spent many hours studying. When he asked his professor why he spent so much time studying, he simply said: “I would rather have my students drink from a running stream than a stagnant pool.”
If you want to preach great sermons to your congregation, then you will need to be a great student of God’s word. You will need to allow God’s word to grow and change you into the person God wants you to be. If you want to minister to others, then you need to ask God to minister to you. God wants to work through you, but he can’t until he works in your life.
What makes a great sermon? A great sermon comes from an overflow of a full life surrendered totally to God.
You can read more about this topic in Dr Howard Hendricks book – Teaching to Change Lives.
As Dr Howard Hendricks said, “Some of the most exciting and fulfilled people you will ever meet are older people who have decided not to stop learning.”
Don’t stop learning! Why not purchase this book and let God inspire you in your preaching and teaching ministry!