What Questions Should a Pastor Ask Himself after Preaching a Sermon?

Was I True to the Word?

We should begin with a warning, a caveat. You actually can’t tell how effective a sermon was by the response you receive. People could say to you, "That was a wonderful sermon," and really nothing effectual happens out of it. Or you could be thinking, "I got no response," and then five years later someone will come and say, "I was in church on that day and the Lord spoke to me." I’ve had people tell me they were regenerated and I couldn’t remember the sermon.

So you need to be careful about this kind of subjective evaluation, because it is generally assessed by how the people responded.

With that said, I think there are other canons for measuring a sermon. Was I true to the Word? Was I clear? Was I preaching myself? In other words, Was I too much in the foreground or was I preaching the Word? Scripture says we don’t preach ourselves. Was I dependent upon the Holy Spirit? Was my heart pure? Was I offering it to God? Those are the kind of canons by which you should measure a sermon.

The Pastor's Book

R. Kent Hughes, Douglas Sean O'Donnell

Written by two seasoned pastors, this practical book is a comprehensive guide to nearly every facet of pastoral ministry, including pastoral counseling, hospital visitations, funerals, weddings, the sacraments, holiday services, and congregational music.

There are other questions as well. There’s the issue of work ethic. Did I really do the job? I have rarely stepped in the pulpit unprepared. But if I was unprepared, I wasn’t very confident it would go too well. That is, unless my lack of preparation was, for example, because someone died on Saturday and I had spent all day with the family. In those situations, the Lord provides.

In the end, the Lord smiles on the labors of his pastors.

Related Resources

Crossway is a not-for-profit Christian ministry that exists solely for the purpose of proclaiming the gospel through publishing gospel-centered, Bible-centered content. Learn more or donate today at crossway.org/about.