Check Your Sermon's Engine

My friend Claude Atcho (@ClaudeAtcho) is planting a church in the Boston area. He recently sent a tweet asking, "Preachers: do you have a set of 'check engine' questions you ask at the end of #sermonprep & writing to make sure it's ready to go?" I have one that I created several years ago, and have found it to be helpful in evaluating my sermons after I've prepared them and before I preach them. I'm posting it here in hopes it will also be helpful for some of you.

1. Is (Are) my gospel section(s) explicitly tied to the text and main point?

2. Have I clearly presented Jesus as The Hero?

3. Have I introduced the sermon in a compelling way that provokes interest in what's to come?

4. Is it abundantly clear what my one main point is?

5. Do each of my supporting points clearly flow from or toward the main point?

6. Are my points stated in the simplest and catchiest way possible?

7. Have I adequately anchored each of my points in a specific part of the text?

8. Have I illustrated each point in a way appropriate to the culture(s) of my audience?

9. Have I avoided providing unnecessary details that interest me but may distract from the main point?

10. Is my structure clear enough that my audience can discern it by ear?

11. Do I know how I'm going to transition from each section to the next?

12. Have I anticipated and addressed the primary objections my audience might have to each point?

13. Have I addressed both the Christian and the non-Christian in my audience?

14. Have I provided explicit and specific application to answer the "what now" for my audience?

15. Have I personally repented and worshiped in response to this sermon?


Cole Brown is a Humble Beast author and speaker. He is the founding pastor of Emmaus Church, a multi-ethnic church in Portland, and now serves as a missionary helping plant churches in Mexico City, Mexico. Connect with him on twitter or facebook.

Image owned by Jan Truter: