1PointPreacher Ep. 3 - Easy to Listen to

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1 Point Preacher
Episode 3

Show Notes:

If you have listend to our preaching critiques, we'll say (if it was good) that the sermon was "easy to listen to."

We don't ask "did you like it."
So what do we mean by "easy to listen to"?
Isn't that subjective?

Mortimer J. Adler was saying that it's not fair for someone to disagree with you if they don't know what you meant.
And listening is much harder than reading.

"Easy to Listen to"
Using words that are accessible.
The content could be high level, like God's Word.
Preachers can be accused of being "heady." Or "intellectual" or "cerebral."

"Easy to listen to" applies to concepts being explained well; reasons provided.

1 point preaching is easy to listen to.

"Easy to listen to" also applies to delivery—was it easy to listen to because the preacher was speaking in a way that was designed for listening.
An oral presentation. Good public speaking, at minimum.

Preaching is good public speaking that is biblical in content.

The preacher needs to deliver his sermon in a way designed for hearing.

Preaching is verbal communication, not written.
Most preachers preach as they write; their sermons are essays.
Many preachers are not trained for oral communication.
This hand in hand with reading manuscript sermons.

We don't structure sermons as essays.
Hence 1 point preaching: sequential in outline.
The listener is led to the conclusion with the sermon point. The whole sermon is designed to escalate to the main point.

We preach in a way that is meant to be heard, not read.

It's not preaching if it's reading.

To be easy to listen to, the preacher must know his text, know his material. Knowing the point.

The pastor not only needs to exegete his text, but also exegete his people. He must know his congregation in order to preach to them.

Fundamentally, was this sermon designed to be heard, in once sitting?
Could the congregation follow the flow of the sermon and walk away with the sermon point—the truth of the text and what they must do?

Preaching is nothing less than public speaking.
This is where preachers make preaching harder for themselves and their listeners.
They write essays. Or feel safer with a manuscript.

Too many pastors prepare for reading. Perhaps to publish later.

Sermons will not be easy to listen to if they were not designed for listening.

"That preaching was easy to listen to" sums up the whole thing—content and delivery.

Was this a sermon that was preached, not an essay read out loud.

That's what we look for in critique. We critique preaching, not essay readings.

Your sermon could be biblically correct, but terrible preaching.

You shouldn't need to take notes to the remember a sermon. If it's preached well, the point will stick.

The hearers should be able to go back to the biblical text and recall the sermon from beginning to end, because it was expositional.

This is not a matter of education or training. Everyone listens the same. If you are disorganized in your public speaking, people can't follow you.
But if you are organized, linear in outline, anyone can follow you as you walk through the text.
Be proportioned in time, to retain attention.

You shouldn't need a PowerPoint presentation to keep up with what the preacher is saying.

"Easy to listen to" encapsulates the idea that preaching is for hearing, not for reading. It is oral communication, not written communication.
In terms of delivery and structure, "easy to listen to" should be the target, because people will be listening.

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