“Now when they heard the preaching of Peter and John, they were marveling and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.” (A free paraphrase of Acts 4:13)
Hey, pastor, next Sunday let’s hit one out of the park.
Let’s preach a sermon that will thrill your own soul, knock the dozing member out of his lethargy and onto his feet, and bless the hearts of your sweetest, finest people. Let’s have a sermon that will stun your critics, please your mama, gladden the heart of God, and grab the undivided attention of the unsaved.
Let’s put an end to the common sermon.
You know what a common sermon is, I’m sure.
It’s uninspired in its conception, boring in its plan, and dull in its delivery. In preparing it, you have to force yourself to stay awake. When you preach it, the congregation takes a holiday. When it’s over, you wonder if you shouldn’t find some other line of work.
When common sermons follow common sermons like wave after wave upon the beach, the preacher is probably in a rut. And you know what a rut is–a grave with the ends knocked out.
In a “common sermon,” the outline is often uninspired and may look something like this: 1) The Power, 2) The Point, and 3) the Product. Or, perhaps 1) The Application, 2) the Attraction, and 3) the Adoration. The introduction, the message, the conclusion. You use old, tired stories and expect no one to learn anything worthwhile. You’re just going through the motions.
Bo-ring. But then, you knew that.
Pity those poor church members who dutifully copy down sermon outlines with the mistaken notion that this is a spiritual exercise with eternal benefit. They have nothing more when they finish than when they started.
Throw that sermon away, pastor. (Or perhaps, file it away and come back to it a few months from now to see if anything in it is salvageable.)
If it doesn’t excite you the preacher, if it doesn’t convict you or inspire you or motivate you, it’s a safe bet the sermon is not going to touch anyone in your audience.
Junk it and go back to the drawing board.