Good preaching is not perfectly polished. It’s not slick arguments or funny stories. It’s not so much art or science. It doesn’t require a Ph.d. It isn’t about charm or charisma or being projected onto screens above the sanctuary stage.
Good preaching is the good news told from a good heart landing on good soil.
All three are required.
Good preaching results when preachers preach the gospel—not some other gospel—the good news of Jesus Christ. Good preaching is rooted in the cross and blooming in the resurrection. It points back: Look what happened! It points here: Look what’s happening! It points ahead: Look what will happen! Good news!
Good preaching results when the preacher’s heart is good. Because we can’t see past his deeds to his words. Because the man standing before us is as much a message as his message. Because the man who held our hand when times were tough, the man who loves his family and our church, the man who leads with integrity and humility, that man has something to say that we want to hear. Because we trust him and his good heart.
Good preaching results when the word falls on good soil, when men and women have ears to hear, when they refuse to be distracted by the nervous tics of human incarnation, giving grace to the messenger, embracing truth even when it comes in a package they find outdated or cheesy or uncomfortably unconventional.
When the three align—seed, sunshine and soil—the harvest overwhelms me.
I am a sucker for good preaching. We all are. It gets inside us. It touches us, changes us, inspires us, calls us.
Jesus told his disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation,” because in preaching to creation they would reclaim it.
Then. And now.