Preachers, I challenge you to make some phone calls today and ask church members about your sermon yesterday. Set a goal to reach five people (whether they worshipped in-person or online), and see how they answer these questions. You might be surprised.
- What was the Bible text used in the sermon? You’d hope this question would be an easy one, but some of us refer to so many texts in a sermon that it’s tough to focus on just one passage. Sometimes, just quoting a bunch of verses becomes filler when we haven’t prepared like we should.
- What was the main point of the sermon yesterday? This question’s actually a courageous one for preachers, because we never know what folks might say. If they stumble in their answer—or they simply heard something different than what we intended—we might need to work on communication.
- Which illustration or story most helped you understand the Bible’s teaching? If we didn’t tell any stories to help listeners “put flesh on” the teaching, they’ll not have an answer to this question. When that’s the case, we probably missed an opportunity to teach our congregation better.
- What one change will you make in your life this week based on yesterday’s teaching? Again, we should be concerned if church members have no specific answer to this question. It might be because we didn’t do a good job of helping them apply the text.
- While we’re having this conversation, what was the sermon about last week? This question will probably catch members by surprise, but it’s worth asking. I can only guess how much members forget from Sunday to Sunday – which means we need to improve the way we help folks learn, remember, and apply the text.
Let me know other questions you might ask.