Yup. Four of them. This is from Chris Brauns and unpacked over at DashHouse.com:
I don’t know anyone who’s done a better job of expressing the fundamentals than Chris Brauns in his new book When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search. According to Chris, “A sermon should be a biblical bullet fired at the life of the listener.” If you unpack this sentence you have four keys to good preaching:
- Preach biblically – Preach the text. Let it shape the content of your sermon and its purpose.
- Preach a bullet – Find the main idea or burden of the text and preach that.
- Preach with fire – Seek God until you have unction, boldness, and urgency.
- Preach to the listeners – Preach to the people in front of you. Apply the message to their lives.
I would say I might be weakest on the first point. The whole, “biblically” point. Now, I want to be clear that I try to generally have a passage as the root of the sermon and let that shape the larger text. However, I do confess to prooftexting as well. Even in the current series as we’re talking about Jesus’ life and ministry, it is really characteristics of Jesus’ life (as evidenced in various scriptures) that is the springboard into the sermon. So, instead of one text I have multiple texts. And, while this may shortchange the individual texts some by losing the ability to get deeper with them, I think it coveys the overarching themes of scripture better as a teaching point.
Regardless, I think these four points are helpful.
I often need work with keeping just one main idea or burden. This becomes more of a problem for me when I go off of the manuscript. I have a tendency to wander when that’s the case.