People are not going to flock to a church with a poor preacher. A church can have quality programming and excellent ministry but if sermons are not appealing and helpful the church will not grow.
Here are 6 preaching mistakes that keep a church from growing:
Sermons that are not relevant
Stubborn preachers can whine all they want about having to be relevant but if sermons are not relevant people are not going to show up to hear them. Listeners must perceive the preacher understands their day to day struggles and can offer something that will help them. Otherwise they will not give up their ears.
Sermons that are confusing
This one may surprise you but you would be amazed how many listeners often complain that sermons are difficult to understand. Step back from your sermon and imagine that you are an average listener. Is it clear? If your message cannot be expressed in one simple sentence then your sermon will probably not be understood. If you aim at nothing you are sure to hit it.
Sermons that are not compelling
If listeners don’t find sermons interesting they will not pay attention. Be sure to frame your messages in ways that grab your listeners. Begin with a startling statistic or illustration. Make them curious. Address a problem and promise to solve it. Why should your listeners care about what you have to say? So what?
Sermons that are not challenging
People want to be challenged and grow in their faith. Cotton candy sermons may taste good for awhile but over time they will not nourish your congregation. A shallow congregation cannot sustain substantial growth. A church must be built on a solid foundation.
Sermons that are not inspiring
Do your listeners feel uplifted and energized by your sermons? Never forget that we are called to preach the “good news.” Jesus Christ is the help and hope of the world. If listeners don’t hear a word of hope in our messages why should they come back?
Sermons that are poorly delivered
I forgot who said it but they were on target: “Presentation always trumps information.” You may have written a masterpiece of a sermon but if you can’t deliver it effectively you have wasted your time. People are not going to show up to hear poorly delivered sermons. Be sure to watch your sermons periodically and evaluate your delivery.
Ready to improve your preaching and grow your church? Grab a copy of my new book That’ll Preach! 5 Simple Steps to Your Best Sermon Ever (Abingdon Press).