5 QUESTIONS GOOD PREACHERS ASK

1.  Where does it grab me?   In the passage you're studying, what makes you say "Hmmm" or "Whoa"?  What startles you?  Start there. Linger on where it hooks you.

2.  Where does it pinch?  The Good News is never platitudes. There's always something odd or challenging, something out of sync with what we expect. Look for that place. That's where the treasure is buried.

3.   Who cares about Jesus?  Answer:  Everyone.  Your congregation wants you to tell them about Jesus, even if you're preaching from Leviticus or Amos or James.  Talk about Jesus.

4.   Does Jesus ever do anything?  Too many sermons imply that the best we can say about Jesus is "he's with us."  That makes Jesus a well-meaning bystander leaving the heavy lifting to us.  Jesus creates, heals, forgives, delivers, saves. Tell what Jesus is already doing.

5.  Does it help?  By definition, Good News uplifts us. It's not a pep talk to make us try harder, give more or do better. Should, must and ought have only minor roles in your sermon.  Proclaim grace and an invitation to join Jesus in his work.

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