A few years back three experienced preachers from our fellowship of churches were asked to share five core values for preaching and ministry. I found what they said helpful.
Leroy Lawson served for many years as the minister of the Central Christian Church in Mesa, AZ and later as the president of Hope International University in Fullerton, CA. (He is also the founding pastor of the church I serve and my younger son will be graduating from HIU this coming Saturday).
Leroy’s five core values on preaching are…
1. If I can’t say it simply, I simply don’t understand it.
It takes us a while to get over our education. In school, we spend a lot of time learning a vocabulary that is peculiar to that profession. But in general preaching we will lose people if we don’t say things simply.
2. If I can’t answer your "So what?" then I am wasting your time.
3. If I can’t capture the sermon in one sentence, I don’t know what I’m hunting.
4. Before I can make it yours, I must make it mine.
5. If I’m trying to write great sermons, I’m destined to fail.
6. (Bonus) Before I try talking, I should try listening…hard…
- to God in Bible study & prayer
- to my people, who have so much to tell me
- to the heartbeat of the world of which I am a part.
(Too often we are not listening and are answering questions that no one is asking).