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What To Do When Your Sermon Bombs

by | Oct 27, 2020 | Church Planting, Communication / Preaching, Pastoral Burnout

A few weeks ago, my sermon in our first service completely bombed.

It was the worst in recent memory.

Between the first and second service, I re-wrote it and it turned out pretty good for the second and third services.

The total time went from 26 minutes to around 21 minutes. Needing to quickly re-write made me ask myself three questions that I am going to end up asking myself on a regular basis as I write during the week.

Three Questions to Ask Yourself Before Your Sermon Bombs

  1. What am I actually trying to communicate?

You can forget your outline, introductions, conclusions, illustrations, and all that kind of stuff. What you need to ask is – what is absolutely the most important thing I can say this morning? What is the big idea?

2. What am I trying to teach people this morning? 

I don’t know what it is about me, but when I listen to a sermon I want to learn something. When I’m learning something, I lean forward and get engaged. I tell Senior Pastors that I coach, that when you can narrow down your sermon to a central truth you are teaching, your church will be more engaged than if you are teaching them too many things at once.

3.What pages can I cut out from my notes that would make my sermon better? 

I literally ripped out pages 1, 4, 5, and 6 and pitched them in the trash. Gone. Outta here. The sermon was way better because of it. Don’t be afraid to rip pages, paragraphs, or ideas from your sermon. Often times, it rids the sermon of the “noise” and focuses on those things you’ve decided to communicate and teach.

Senior Pastors – what are some quick tips you have for redeeming a bombed sermon?

If you are interested in learning more about the types of coaching I offer, you can do that here

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Brian Jones

Brian Jones

I am the founding Pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley in Philadelphia, a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, and the author of four books. I’ve been married to my wife Dr. Lisa Jones for thirty years, and together we have three beautiful daughters and a lovable chubby orange cat named MAC. I love hiking, fishing, and backpacking. Our family loves to travel and have become passionate advocates for the rights of the poor and oppressed in developing countries. I’m an INTJ, 5w4, and D/I on various personality tests. I also write practical articles on church leadership and preaching at Senior Pastor Central.

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