Today I came across an article written by my Doctor of Ministry mentor, Haddon Robinson. For decades, Haddon has been a voice encouraging and instructing preachers to preach from the Bible and apply it to real life. I wish I knew how many students he personally instructed and encouraged and how many more improved their preaching by reading and applying his book Biblical Preaching. I know this: my life has been deeply impacted by his teaching, his love for God and for preaching, his character, and his wit. I never knew him well, but he always remembered my name and key details about me and my life. When Haddon talks to you, he makes you feel like you're the only thing on his mind, the only person in the room, the only thing that matters in that moment. You always have his full attention.
In this article, Haddon explains what Christians should look for in a church. Because of the influence of Haddon and others on my life, this is the kind of church we're striving to become here at Calvary. Just a brief excerpt from the article:
First, look for a church where the minister preaches from the Bible.... Good preachers don't merely refer to the Bible. They base their sermons on it. This is vital! You'll not grow much as a Christian if you do not have a regular input from the Scriptures.
Second, look for a church where the pastor applies the truths of the Scripture to your life. After the sermon is over ask yourself, "Do I know what I am supposed to believe, or change, or do as a result of that sermon?" Effective preaching takes place when flint strikes steel. When the flint of your problems strike the steel of the Word of God there's a spark that can set your life on fire. Teaching and application are both ingredients to look for as you listen to the sermon.
From some sermons you may receive a rebuke. Don't resent it or get upset by it. Consider it and determine whether the rebuke clearly comes from the Scriptures and then heed it. Other sermons will guide you into changing something in your life that needs correction. Still other sermons will provide specific, down-to-life counsel from the Bible about your family, your job, your relationships that will help you to live your life the way God wants you to live.
Great advice. I encourage you to read the whole article.