Preaching on college mission is a huge privilege and responsibility. Think about it, this may be the one time this year that a person at the church you are going on mission to brings a non christian friend or family member to the event you are speaking at. What a privilege! What a responsibility! What an opportunity!
In my experience, mission sermons either go over great or fail miserably. So if you are preaching on mission here are some things I would suggest you do:
1. Preach from one of the gospels. The mission sermons that I have seen fail were the ones that were preached from an obscure part of the Bible. These sermons were usually a rehash of a sermon from church or a sermon based exegetical essay the person had just done for college. If you are thinking or saying something like “I think I make this passage/ sermon be evangelistic” you are better off starting again and choose an easy passage where you can preach the gospel easily to a non Christian. Remember you are there to preach the gospel not show how you can preach the gospel from a obscure text and impress everyone.
2. Preach the text! If you are preaching from a passage that emphasizes the divinity of Jesus preach about the divinity of Jesus! If the passage talks about Jesus death preach Jesus death! The two mistakes that I have seen here are: 1. Trying to say everything you can about Jesus. You don’t have to say everything about Jesus for it to be evangelistic. Preach Jesus as he is revealed in the text and trust God. 2. Trying to preach an aspect if the gospel that is not clearly in the text. I once heard a guy spend most of the sermon talking about penal substitution from the story of Jesus calming the storm which is a story that is clearly about faith in Jesus who has power over sin and death. Now is it wrong to mention penal substitution when you preach this text? Not at all but we are there to preach what the text emphasizes and leave the rest up to God.
3. Know your audience. If you are preaching to blue collar workers you are going to have to preach differently than if you are preaching to a group of uni students. The mission sermons that I have heard that nailed it were ones where the preacher knew who he/she was talking to so well and who worked hard to communicate to them at their level. This is hard work but it is work that is eternally worth it!
What would you add to this list?
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