Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment of a four part series on preaching from the layman’s perspective. To check out previous articles, click here.
1. Express your gratitude to the Lord.
Be thankful that you have a pastor who cares deeply about preaching and teaching God’s Word in a way that honors the Scriptures.
Be thankful that the Lord was pleased to use this sermon to speak needed truth in to your life.
Be thankful that you are in a church that cares about teaching the Bible, as opposed to the many churches where the Bible is hardly even mentioned, much less preached from.
In other words, just be thankful! What a joy it is to listen to the Word preached with accuracy and authority.
2. Encourage your pastor by telling him specifically how the Lord used his sermon to bless you.
Most pastors I know do not want direct credit for the spiritual good their teaching brings to your life. They know deep down that without the Spirit of God taking the truth they preach and applying it to the hearts of the hearers, they might as well be discussing drivers license requirements for the state of Alaska. So don’t put them in the awkward position of having to try to give God credit for something they know He alone deserves! Instead, explain how God used his teaching to help you. Also, be specific! Generic words of encouragement or giving pat words of gratitude tend to communicate (even if not intended) I know I’m suppose to tell you something, but nothing in your sermon was worth remembering, so, um, good job. Instead, try something like, The Lord impressed on my heart my need to rest in His sovereignty. Thank you for your time in study this week.
3. Remind fellow members of the blessing it is to have a pastor who rightly divides the Word of truth.
It is very easy and natural for people to criticize their pastor(s) behind his back. But it takes a person of true character to intentionally build up their pastors to other members of the congregation. There will always be those in the church who will try to create an “us vs. them” mentality between the pastors and the church. But when you decide to support your pastor, even when he doesn’t see it, you are taking an active role in protecting the unity of your church. And a church where the preaching honors the Word of God on Sunday is worth protecting!
Well guys, that officially brings this series on preaching to an end. I have enjoyed sharing some of my thoughts with you and I hope I have given you some biblical categories to help you more accurately evaluate what makes a sermon “good” or “bad”. For another helpful explanation on preaching, check out this very helpful article. May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all as together we seek to learn from His Word!