One Point!

Andrew Stanley has a great article on being a “One-Point Preacher”.

I grew up preaching according to the standard 3-points formula of preaching. Later on I discovered Martyn Lloyd Jones and the Puritans and I began preaching more than 3 points per sermon with as many subpoints under each point! I distinctly remember preaching over an hour in one church and seeing the people at the back one by one stand up and leave. Then I took a class on preaching and I was surprised to hear my professor (Dr. Stephen Whatley, then of Asian Theological Seminary, Bacolod City, now of Faith Seminary, Tacoma, Washington) say that a sermon should only have one point! We invited him to our local church one Sunday and he preached under 30 minutes from the whole book of Jeremiah – and he had only one point! He began the sermon by asking, “Was Jeremiah a success?” And he ended by saying, “Yes, Jeremiah was a success because he obeyed God!” I will never forget that sermon. I regret to say that I haven’t followed my teacher’s advice. It is much more difficult to preach a sermon that has only one point than one which has 3 or more – believe it or not. But I did force myself to preach much shorter than I did before. Now, everyone in my church is happy when I ascend the pulpit. But I still have a long way to go in order to improve. And one of the things I have to do is to apply the advice of Dr. Whatley and Pastor Stanley: only have one point!

2 responses to “One Point!”

  1. During the time of Jesus God was there all along in the person of his Son. But it was not enough for the pharisees. They asked for a sign. Jesus didn’t give them any – except the sign of Jonah. God is there all along, especially in the places where we least expect him to be. We see his invisible qualities in the greatness of the heavens, the wonder of the stars, the beauty of the earth. We see him even in the faces of the suffering innocent and in the loving hands who seek to alleviate this suffering. Above all, we see him in the person of Jesus Christ, the suffering servant, the majestic king; the meek lamb, the conquering lion; victim of injustice, healer of souls; a man forsaken on the cross and therefore Savior of the world. We see him even in the incomprehensible mystery of evil, which is nothing but the fleeting prelude to the joyful bursting of dawn. God is there all along but it needs a peculiar set of eyes to see him – the eyes of a trusting child. “For unless you become like little children, you shall in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven.” I point you to the enigma of the one who claimed that to see him is to see God. May you find in him what you are looking for.

  2. even while i am writing this, i am sure that god is somewhere but at times he feels so distant from us, the common people. why are there times when we know he is around us and then so many other times when we need him the most, he is no ware to be found. I know he is there somwhere looking down on us and seeing that we are so helpless at times but then why does he not send any sign that he is there..somewhere??

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