God’s chosen method of communicating His Word is preaching, as I share in the introduction to Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice. Someone wisely observed, “The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” Another sagely exhorts, “Good, Better, Best, Never let it rest, ‘Til your good is better and your better is best!”
Retooling and Improvement in preaching can be very beneficial. Let me warn at the outset that some preachers die of improvement and advice is like mushrooms, the wrong kind can be fatal. Albert Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again with an expectation of a different outcome.
Do you remember the ad that stated, “You are not getting older; you’re getting better”? Some things get better with age — a bad sermon does not, and neither does a good sermon. There is a need for improvement and time alone does not make things better. Real change in your preaching will require real change in your life.
Research and Development is beneficial to the preacher of the Word as well as the producer of widgets. Regrettably some pastors spend all of their time on “sermon development” and little time on “sermon delivery.” For those who have a mid-week service in their churches, allow Wednesday evening to serve as an opportunity to experiment in both categories. The Wednesday evening service can serve as a preaching laboratory. Generally speaking, your most committed people are present for this service. Therefore, the feedback will be more helpful and the encouragement will be genuine. A Wednesday evening service is a golden opportunity!
Rejoicing and Excitement from Wednesday evening will positively affect the whole congregation over a period of time. When you admit the need for retooling and improvement and follow the painstaking process of research and development you will come to rejoicing and excitement.
General Motors’ advertisement for Pontiac enthusiastically proclaimed, “We build excitement.” As with any car the new wears off and the car wears out. After a certain amount of time passes on the calendar or a certain number of miles on the odometer, the happy car owner is singing the blues, “The thrill is gone – the thrill has gone away.” Someone noted that enthusiasm is like measles, if you don’t have it you can’t give it. You will be excited about the changes that can take place in your preaching and your congregation will get a new preacher!
Allow me to ask, “Are you missing a golden opportunity?”