Posted in Christianity

Simple Thoughts on Preaching – Bob Jennings

  1. BIBLE KNOWLEDGE: Be mighty in the scriptures (Acts 18.24). Strive to know what is in each chapter, especially the New Testament.
  2. A MAIN POINT: It is all too easy to preach without making a main point. I was admonished, “What tree are you after? Don’t just chop off branches. Get the tree chopped down.”
  3. CLARITY: It is a tremendous virtue to be able to speak clearly, that is, with clarity of thought, as it is written, That I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak (Col. 4.4). How can the hearer be edified by an uncertain sound? (1 Cor. 14.8). Wisdom in what to say and how to say it is so desirable. The Spirit of God accompanies wisdom, as it is written,They were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking (Acts 6.10).
  4. ILLUSTRATIONS: This indeed helps to clarify the meaning. They are flowers on the table. They are windows to the building. They are pictures for the memory to take back home. Look at the Lord’s example in using parables. Hear His challenge, How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? (Mark 4.30).
  5. SIMPLICITY: Use the text as your outline as much as possible. Go right down the flow. It a great help to the hearer to be able to feel comfortable, to feel he is getting it. The hearer wants to enjoy each word of the text.
  6. BREVITY: It is devilish to wear down the saints (Daniel 7.25). It takes a good deal of skill to be brief and concise. It takes holiness to be brief. To the degree you know self-denial, you will be able to be brief. A proud man enjoys hearing himself (Jude 16). The insecure must talk. Yet, God can be in long sermons, Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brethren with a lengthy message (Acts 15.32).


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8 thoughts on “Simple Thoughts on Preaching – Bob Jennings

  1. Interesting post! I think the brevity one needs to be a bit more balanced. Some people perceive physical briefness to be what God refers to. God desires spiritual softness… As we preach Christ and Christ crucified in unceasing prayer, we know that God’s hand or work is not too short that it cannot save. Faith cometh through the hearing and the hearing of God’s Word. We can’t outgive God. God gives all day so that’s not physically short. I believe brevity refers to the soul of the heart’s condition… Short in sin because it’s cut off. Sometimes, details are needed so that we can understand. Just because someone requires more details and specificity doesn’t make them stupid. Some people are self-righteous and insensitive to other people’s needs when it comes to this. Good point but needs a bit more balance to sympathize (instead of condemning) with those who need a bit more to understand. We need a picture of the Lord, clarity of the Lord, simplicity of the Lord, We’re not saved by shortness or speed but by Christ. Brevity can show a person’s insecurity too. I think this comes from pride too–that some people’s life sermons are not worth people’s time. Some people desire brevity because they don’t want to hear you and don’t think you’re as important as the desired ones.

  2. P.S. I think eugenics kinda show that. People want certain people’s sermons to reproduce and show everywhere no matter the physical length. People want others’ sermons to be restricted or controlled so they won’t have to listen or hear. It goes both ways… brevity refers to the soul of the heart more than physical shortness.

  3. Maybe instead of clarity we who preach should have a conversation with the text, and the hearer, so as to bring about an interaction. Then, going forward, we can be intentional in using the God-seeds that were planted in a missional way that flows from our new understandings. (A little sarcasm for you)

    Never underestimate the power of God’s Word preached simply, accurately and in the plain language of the people!

  4. To clarify: I’m not for brevity of length in sermons ( I can listen to a good–read: Biblical–sermon for hours and want more); I do believe that preachers need to find their point (from Scripture) and drive it home.

    Churchill said, “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.” Now obviously he’s no preacher but he has a good point.

    So the point I’m making is: preachers, don’t ramble. Find out what God says and tell us…even if it takes a good while but don’t take up my Sunday mornings telling me jokes, your opinion, the latest article you’ve read (unless it relates directly to the sermon). Preach me Christ…and Him crucified.

  5. I notice some people condemn others if they don’t speak man’s opinion of physical clarity to others. A person with an accent and all around the world speaks with clarity. A bad writer speaks with clarity as long as its explained=)

    Awesome posts as usual!

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