What makes for a really good sermon? What makes for a really good church service, or a really good small group gathering? Another question (for another time) would be what constitutes “really good” in relation to a sermon, service, etc. For now, my assumption is that “really good” = truly biblical and immediately-recognizable as helpful and life-changing.
Here’s my attempt at giving a brief stab at the answer….
There is nothing that we can do on our own to ensure that a sermon, a church service, or a small group is really good. So, THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT is at stake here. John 3 teaches us clearly that, like the wind, we cannot manipulate or harness the Spirit of God. God the Spirit is free to move as He pleases. He is free to take a sermon and bless it so that the hearers immediately recognize God’s power. He is free to take a gathering of God’s people—large or small—and bless it so that time stands still and the presence of God is evident. Or not. This is the fundamental point. Do we know this and seek for this? Do we not only believe in the Holy Spirit, His freedom and sovereignty, etc. but also seek after His presence and blessing in the Christian work that we undertake? Is this our primary burden when preparing for sermons, services, small groups?