What distinguishes good preaching from poor preaching? We tend to focus on things like how entertaining the speaker is or how good his powerpoint presentation is. In his book The Church of Christ in the 21st Century, my friend Mark Adams offers the following helpful perspective:
“Good preaching will be firmly rooted in the Word of God. Poor preaching will be rooted in a preacher’s personal agenda or favorite story. Good preaching will cause people to be amazed at the power and wisdom of God. Poor preaching will cause people to be impressed mostly with how smart or eloquent the preacher is (assuming they are impressed at all). Good preaching will allow Scripture to re-imagine our world as it should be, challenging us to live out the vision that God has for us. Poor preaching will allow us to ignore whatever parts of Scripture do not fit with our schedules, our preferences, or our comfort zones. Good preaching is faithful to God, whatever the cost. Poor preaching is faithful to God, as long as there is no cost.”
I love those words. Good preaching is God-focused, and explicitly directs us to His greatness.