I got to preach in church yesterday. It went well, I suppose. People seem to have liked my sermon, whatever that means. Of course, there are standards for measuring how "good" a sermon is--is it focused on the text? Is it well organized? Is it well delivered? Is it interesting? etc. But there is only one thing about the sermon that really matters, and it is not in the preacher's control. It is whether the people in the congregation heard God's word addressing them. It's whether the Holy Spirit spoke to open, listening hearts.
Presumably, that's more likely to happen if a sermon is "good" according to more or less measurable standards. But having people come up to me and say "nice sermon," "I enjoyed it," "good job," etc. is kind of a let down. I don't really care if people liked the sermon--I care about whether they just heard me speaking (which would be a waste of their time) or if they heard God speaking to them. Perhaps it's a good thing that I will never know "how well I did" by the only true measure of success in this regard ...
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