What makes a sermon bad?

I’ve never preached a sermon so this post could explode in my face. However, I’ve sat through not a few bad sermons, sometimes not realising that they were bad simply because I didn’t know better. This post is for people like me.

In no particular order:

  1. During a bad sermon, you don’t need to have an open Bible because it isn’t referred back to.
  2. A sermon that puts forward the notion that ‘we’ are better than ‘them’ (where ‘we’ refers to the congregation, denomination, etc.) is bad.
  3. A sermon that assumes that all people listening to it are committed followers of Christ is not a good sermon.
  4. If it is all about moralism— do’s and don’t’s—it is bad. To be sure, the Bible says a lot about behaviour, but it’s always grounded in a relationship with God.
  5. A bad sermon neither inspires love for God nor cultivates faith in Him.

I hope this, though far from exhaustive, was helpful.

Further reading (also my sources):


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