What is the purpose of a Sermon? Part 3

In talking about the purpose of a sermon, I think we have established in the previous two posts that a sermon should change people, not just add more used and unacted upon knowledge into a person’s head. I will turn to the same topic but more towards an individual sermon.

By Pastor David Cox

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 (posts 5/1/20)

There are few factors more likely to cause a sermon to “crash and burn” than the lack of a clear, concise purpose. Before a preacher steps into the pulpit, it is essential that he know what it is he is seeking to accomplish. Unless the preacher knows what the sermon is for, no one else will either. Here are three keys that will unlock the door to more meaningful preaching. 1. Determine the Sermon’s Purpose First, 2. Design the Sermon around its Purpose. 3. Deliver the Sermon with Purpose in Mind.
from Three Keys to Preaching that Makes a Difference by Michael Duduit

Our preaching should have a definite purpose, and it should be to spiritually and morally transform and remake the lives of the listeners into the moral image of Christ. This is true on a universal “all sermon” level, as it is true on an individual sermon level. Each sermon should take the listener somewhere. It should spiritually move the listener from where he is when he walked through the doors of the church to where he should be in the light of God’s life. This process is a personal one, in that each church and pastor MUST KNOW THEIR PEOPLE and they MUST KNOW THEIR PEOPLE’S NEEDS, SINS, AND PROBLEMS, and his sermons must be directed to spiritually dealing with those things.

Each sermon must be carefully handcrafted by the preacher to accomplish its purpose. The elements, the structure, the design, the order of presentation, the elements in each part of the sermon, the overall form and particulars of the sermon all change with the purpose the preacher is trying to accomplish in that particular sermon.


The Real Purpose of Sermons by Rick Warren

  • God wants people to think like Jesus (Philippians 2:5)
  • God wants people to feel like Jesus (Colossians 3:15-17)
  • God wants people to act like Jesus

What is the Purpose of Preaching? by Leah Baugh

Christian preaching has as its purpose nothing less than the complete conformity of every child of God to the perfect image of Christ the Son. (Dennis E. Johnson, Him We Proclaim [P&R Publishing 2007], 66-67)

Preaching’s goal is the spiritual maturity of believers that can only come from the wisdom of Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. We get this from Paul’s own reflections on his apostolic ministry when he says,

Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. (Col. 1:28-29)

More Posts on Improving Preaching Issues

Pastor David Cox is a missionary. See my ministry updates here.