If you have two buns, some lettuce, a piece of cheese, and some slices of tomato but no beef patty, you really don’t have a hamburger in your hands. It may look like a hamburger. Sure, it may be quite colorful. You may have even bought it at your favorite burger joint. But one bite and you just know that something is missing. The beef patty is what makes a hamburger a hamburger.
In the same way, content is what makes your sermon a sermon. It may look like a sermon because it’s got some structure. It may be colorful with all the stories and illustrations. You may have even heard it at your favorite local church. But a sermon without content (and good content for that matter) is really no sermon at all.
Sermon preparation always starts with content. You need something to preach about on Sunday morning and there’s really no getting around that. In this series, Content Crisis, we’ll look at some ideas related to sermon content. Here are some initial thoughts to get us going:
(1) There’s good content and there’s bad.
Sermon content comes in two distinct varieties: good and bad. Good content is prepared in a way that is well-thought out, well-studied, and Biblical. Bad content is hastily drawn, lacks research, and is oftentimes not found in the Scriptures. When you step up to preach, you will no doubt have some kind of content with you. The question is this: is that content going to be good or bad? The next article will go into more detail about the source of our content.
(2) You can’t substitute bad content.
Some preachers think that if they tell plenty of stories, include lots of illustrations, and add a pinch of humor, people won’t notice their bad content. In some instances, that might actually work. You might “get away” with bad content through stories and humor. But in the end, you’re only fooling yourself. The reason we preach sermons every single week is to help people change their lives to become more like Jesus. If your goal on Sunday morning is to hide your bad content, you’re probably in the wrong line of work.
(3) Good content is up to you.
In this blog, we won’t be able to discuss the contents of a sermon in great detail. That study falls within the realm of hermeneutics (or Biblical interpretation). This blog is dedicated to the realm of homiletics (or preaching). You will need to come up with good content on your own (this series will help you get started). Hey Preacher Boy will help you prepare and present that good content in a clear, relevant, and memorable way.