Joel Beeke says that preachers are like spiritual athletes with a need to develop their skills. Thus, there is a need for the preacher to evaluate his sermons, reminding the reader that C.H.Spurgeon told his own students to leave off altogether if they ever think they can preach as well as they should. In this little booklet, based on 1 Corinthians 3:5-15, Dr Beeke suggests five questions that the preacher should ask himself about this preaching.
Did I preach as God’s servant? Did I preach to build God’s church? Did I preach Christ as the only foundation? Did I build my sermons with the precious materials of Reformed experiential preaching? Did I preach for the Master’s reward? A helpful “Sermon Evaluation Chart” is at the end of the book, fitting in with each of these five questions.
‘A preacher needs to read some part of a book on preaching each month, more or less of it, to think about what he is saying and how his sermons might be made more lucid, interesting, warmer, more motivational, inspirational, convicting and glorifying to the Lord Jesus Christ – what a need to consider this awesome task, and what lasting fruit might come from every such endeavour. We can all improve as preachers. I have to feel that I am a growing preacher, and test such convictions by hearing other men I admire whose ministry is a consistent blessing to me, and reading what they say about preaching. So it is that these words of my dear friend Joel Beeke have searched and encouraged me. They are fascinating, and I particularly liked them because they were not crushing words, rather sensible, winsome and practical. Thank God for them’.
Joel R. Beeke is president and professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, editor of Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, president of Inheritance Publishers, and vice-president of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society. His Ph.D. is in Reformation and Post-Reformation theology from Westminster Theological Seminary.