what makes a sermon successful?

Have a couple posts on preaching rolling around in my head. Will post more this week. I just finished Andy Stanley’s Communicating for a Change. It’s deepening the growth, challenge and reward I find in being a communicator. Book notes & reflection coming.  

Yesterday, I asked my twitter & facebook friends what makes a sermon successful:

@jimthemethodist: connected the congregation with the text through their context in a way that propels them in mission.

@preachinzoogal: if one person is touched by it and learns something, then its successful!

@deb1955: Jen, for me it is one that I am still thinking about beyond the end of service…whether it makes me smile or squirm.

Daria: For me, good story-telling. Not some overtold story from a sermon helpers subscription, but something really cool and off-the-beaten path. Or a personal story.

Adam: I doubt we can ever know if a sermon is really successful or not…all we can do is pray for receptivity and acceptance in the hearts and minds of those who hear. I listen for solid logical and academic founding, but I also listen for how well the topic can be related to the lives of the listeners.

Jim: The offering?  The conversions afterwards?  When someone who usually says “nice sermon” says, “pastor, I’d really like to talk with you about that sermon today?”  When you get to the end of it and you realize that it really wasn’t just you in the pulpit that day but that God was really moving and you were along for the ride?  When it affects how you and the congregation approach Monday morning or the next year?

@InHzService: when people leave discussing and affected by the message contained in the sermon…not the sermon itself; inspires action

@mattkelley468: one that challenges people, makes them think, and makes them be more in awe of god 

@bennettvt: when folks connect with the text in a new way, that helps them live out their story as part of God’s Story

Tamara: short and to the point

Jim: frequently … we never know … but faithfully … we keep offering our best

Kelly: humor

What do you think?