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Breaking News Home | All | Religion | Society | Tech | Choice | SA Newsroom
FRONT PAGE  |  12/16/2019
Choice News SATURDAY, JAN 23, 2010  |  59 comments  |  1 commentary
Survey: Sermons Fail to Inspire Change in Believers
Congregations may look forward to the pastor’s sermon, but when it comes to bringing about a change in their attitudes or lifestyle, preaching appears to have little impact.

That is the finding of a new study by the CODEC research center at St. John’s College in Durham, U.K., commissioned by the College of Preachers to mark its 50th anniversary this year.

Of the 193 Anglicans, Catholics, Methodists and Baptists surveyed, only 17 percent said sermons frequently changed their attitudes towards others or helped them look afresh at controversial or topical issues. ...


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· Page 1 ·  Found: 59 user comment(s)
News Item2/2/10 1:28 AM
Whale In The Desert | Australia  Find all comments by Whale In The Desert
If you listen to a lot of these Pastors,Preachers not too many want to talk about the Bible.You hear them repeatedly having a go at people whom have had some success in life.Who knows what monies they may donate to different Charities.Are not they suppose to do it secretly anyway.Even if i have 20 Bucks in my pocket i bet God would call me rich too.Please Preach the Bible.
59

News Item2/1/10 8:27 PM
Alan H | Washington State  Protected NameFind all comments by Alan H
Mike wrote:
Unless a preacher tests himself, his work, that it be of God, how is he to know? Or is it assumed if the preacher be a tulip sniffer, his work must be of God, thus needing no proof at all?
Deeps wrote:
...Mike's point was that the preacher should make sure that his sermon's should be quote "that it be of God".

Your verses relate to
1. Fruit. A check on an individuals faith witness.
2. Wolves. Warns not all are real Christians.
3. Figs. See #1
4....fruit fruit and more fruit - See #1.

So again how does the preacher carry out this litmus test that "his sermon" is quote "be of God."

PS Alan - You ever preached?

Deeps,

IMHO, the entire passage which I quoted from Matthew 7:15-20, in my post dated 1/29/10 5:25 PM, deals with false prophets and the fruits of their sewn seed.

I can't speak for Mike, but he mentions the preacher's "work," not his "sermon." But if he intended the preachers "sermon" I am sure Mike would agree with me that not everything which even the best of preachers says is "of God" in any given sermon. The preacher may be enlightened by God's Spirit, but he is neither inspired nor infallible.

As for your last question, Yes! However, I am very puzzled why you asked...

58

News Item2/1/10 3:05 PM
Alangrandison | England  Find all comments by Alangrandison
Surveys, surveys. What about visiting some of the places of so called worship. In England Christianity is dead, lukewarm ministers, if any ministers at all. I often wonder where the Christians have gone as meeting houses tend to be filled, partly, and otherwise, with nominal believers that are not really interested in the word of God but the latest news. I would recommend visiting Protestantissues.com. it truly begins to tell the whole story, as it is.
57

News Item2/1/10 12:00 PM
Frank Dombrosky | Texas  Find all comments by Frank Dombrosky
God's Word never fails. It always produces results. Preachers need to get behind their pulpits and preach the whole counsel of God. Let the Lord take care of the rest.

Most modern pastors are concerned about being popular. They want their churches to be popular. So, sermons become nothing more than shallow devotionals that leave a warm feeling but no real Bible knowledge or conviction of sin. This only produces spiritual weakness. Such a church is useless to the Lord.

Preachers need to take the Word of God and preach it. Nothing more, nothing less. It's as simple as that.

56

News Item2/1/10 10:30 AM
E Healey | U.K  Find all comments by E Healey
The survey's concluding comment regarding the culture and a need to be entertained pretty much summed up why the survey's results were so negative. This country's (U.K) churches are in desperate need of reviving and then people won't go to church looking for entertainment, they'll go eager to worship Almighty God and hang on every word from the preacher (if he is a God ordained and Holy Spirit filled man) seeking to hear what God is saying to them through the preaching of his word.

The preaching I receive week by week doesn't always have the effect on me it should but that's my fault not the preacher's. I am privileged to hear the kind of preaching that I have just mentioned we all need but I have been to churches and heard the kind of preaching that maybe many of the people who were questioned in this survey hear.

If however the result of this survey is that people try to change preaching techniques or worry about being 'relevant' then we will continue to get survey results like this one. If they genuinely want change then pleading by preacher and hearer alike for God to work in hearts will bring it about. If they did that sort of thing they wouldn't even think about conducting surveys in the first place.

55

News Item1/31/10 2:31 PM
Deeps  Find all comments by Deeps
Alan H wrote:
The litmus test is the same as it ever has been, and it is adequate for preacher and hearer alike. And, it is of God, for the Son of God authorized it!
"For every tree is known by his own fruit..." Luke 6:44 (KJV)
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." Matt 7:15
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Matt 7:16
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Matt 7:17
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit,
Matthew 7:18
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit
Matthew 7:19
Wherefore by their fruits
Matthew 7:20 (KJV)
See also: 2 Cor 3:1-3, 1 Cor 9:2 & 1 Thess 2:13-14 (KJV)
Great verses Alan. However Mike's point was that the preacher should make sure that his sermon's should be quote "that it be of God".

Your verses relate to
1. Fruit. A check on an individuals faith witness.
2. Wolves. Warns not all are real Christians.
3. Figs. See #1
4....fruit fruit and more fruit - See #1.

So again how does the preacher carry out this litmus test that "his sermon" is quote "be of God."

PS Alan - You ever preached?

54

News Item1/31/10 11:09 AM
Heisable  Find all comments by Heisable
donnie wrote:
I know what our responsibilty is...
[URL=http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=121078554]]]Response to Homosexuality[/URL]

[URL=http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=8706212456]]]Also[/URL]

Above are a couple of sermons on sermonaudio...there are a couple of comments by a former Gay who warns to cease from flirting with that deathstyle.

Like flirting with pornography..it is possible to flirt with sin that is sexual perversion and end up sexually perverted. No one is born gay, it is always a choice that destroys. So Donnie if you are a true 'Born-again' Christian as One John 5: 10-13, then you'll have repented of sexual perversion and will endeavour to avoid sinful choices knowing that every sin is commited under Christ's eye as an abominable thing.

An encouragement for every child of God is Spurgeon's reading this morning..ever dwell on thoughts of the suffering Saviour and the doctrine of His Righteousness . He knows our fears 'Fear not, thou worm...I will help thee' HE IS ABLE TO KEEP YOU FROM FALLING Jude 24

[URL=http://www.sermonaudio.com/daily.asp]]]The Lord Our Righteousness[/URL]

53

News Item1/31/10 8:54 AM
prince charles | wales  Find all comments by prince charles
donnie wrote:
I wish that pastors would address this particular sin since 30-40 % of all men struggle with this sin. Perhaps we need pastors who deal with sins/problems/struggles, that many Christians struggle to deal with. I know that's my problem with preaching and, I believe, rightly so.
yeah donny youd just love pastors to talk about gaydom in church all the time right ? then you can be accepted for being gay and maybe recruit a few to travel the herschey highway

serious post or a gay that wants to 'Jam' ? i dunno

but i know this 30 - 40 % of all men do NOT struggle with sodomy so the post is a LIE

FYI 10 % of men are gay is also a big fat gay LIE

Also many christians do NOT struggle with this (mercifully) another big fat sodomite LIE

If you want preaching against sodomy check out fred phelps at the WBC

Quit believing the sodomite propaganda would be a great start

52

News Item1/31/10 6:30 AM
Michael Hranek | Endicott, New York  Find all comments by Michael Hranek
John UK wrote:
Are you born of the Spirit...
John UK
IMHO The points you give in your post is the best comment you've posted for anyone of us who is genuinely born again of the Holy Spirit whether they are a brand new believer to a faithful veteran pastor.

Thank You! I believe I will share it with my family and at church this morning.

1 Forget your self, and focus on Christ, what he has done for you at Calvary, and what he is saying for you to do as his servant.

2 Spend a couple of hours each day in his word and talk to him as a Friend. In prayer, do not focus on self, but on other folks, especially those who need saving.

3 Live your life as a 'dead' man. Seek nothing for yourself but the joy of serving Christ. Give all to him, and hold nothing back. Your mind will seek to deceive you here, but you must give 'all' not 'some'.

4 Serve Christ as a 'fierce' soldier, and listen not to carnal Christians who would accuse you of fanaticism. Remember, it is all or nothing.

5 Aim at Ephesians 5:18b and stay there.

Amen and Amen!

51

News Item1/31/10 4:45 AM
John UK | Wales  Contact via emailFind all comments by John UK
donnie wrote:
I know what our responsibilty is and I also know that we/I cannot help ourselves unless the power of the Holy Spirit sets us free.
Are you born of the Spirit, donnie? If yes, then you *are* free from the dominion of sin. This is what the Bible teaches.

Now I am no pastor (thank God), but I am going to suggest a few things which will transform your life. Not 'might transform' but 'will' transform. And I will apply this to my own life too, because every believer has different struggles and trials, and wishes for greater holiness of life.

#1 Forget your self, and focus on Christ, what he has done for you at Calvary, and what he is saying for you to do as his servant.
#2 Spend a couple of hours each day in his word and talk to him as a Friend. In prayer, do not focus on self, but on other folks, especially those who need saving.
#3 Live your life as a 'dead' man. Seek nothing for yourself but the joy of serving Christ. Give all to him, and hold nothing back. Your mind will seek to deceive you here, but you must give 'all' not 'some'.
#4 Serve Christ as a 'fierce' soldier, and listen not to carnal Christians who would accuse you of fanaticism. Remember, it is all or nothing.
#5 Aim at Ephesians 5:18b and stay there.

50

News Item1/31/10 12:26 AM
donnie | nor'east  Find all comments by donnie
My great problem is and has been that I struggle with same sex attraction. I know very well that homosexuality is a sin, no doubt about that. The Bible is very clear about this. I've struggled with this sin even in kindergarten. I'm now a much older man. I have begged and begged the Lord for deliverance from this sin and still, no answer. I plead upon the verses in Scripture, such as, " I can do ALL things through Christ who stengthens me". The Lord knows how I have begged Him for deliverance fromn the bottom of my heart, and still no answer and help. I wish that pastors would address this particular sin since 30-40 % of all men struggle with this sin. Perhaps we need pastors who deal with sins/problems/struggles, that many Christians struggle to deal with. I know that's my problem with preaching and, I believe, rightly so.

I know what our responsibilty is and I aalso know that we/I cannot help ourselves unless the power of the Holy Spirit sets us free.

49

News Item1/30/10 5:56 PM
Pew warmer  Find all comments by Pew warmer
A sound example of when to seek a new church, even if it is a week after conversion in that very same church

"The next Sunday I went to the same chapel, as it was very natural that I should. But I never went afterwards, for this reason, that during my first week the new life that was in me had been compelled to fight for its existence, and a conflict with the old nature had been vigorously carried on. This I knew to be a special token of the indwelling of grace in my soul; but in that same chapel I heard a sermon upon 'O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" And the preacher declared that Paul was not a Christian when he had that experience. Babe as I was, I knew better than to believe so absurd a statement. I resolved to go into that pasture no more, for I could not feed therein."

C H Spurgeon

48

News Item1/30/10 10:57 AM
Barry Watson | Barrie, Ontario, Canada  Contact via emailFind all comments by Barry Watson
What does it mean, when some christians say, I want people to be nice too me.??
Its happening in my city..!
47

News Item1/29/10 5:37 PM
Mike | New York  Find all comments by Mike
Deeps wrote:
Oh that sounds really simple Mike.
BTW This litmus test which you speak of, how is it actually carried out and how does the preacher arrive at the conclusion that it "be of God" ??
Is it only the congregation that are commended for being like the Bereans?
46

News Item1/29/10 5:25 PM
Alan H | Washington State  Protected NameFind all comments by Alan H
Mike wrote:
Unless a preacher tests himself, his work, that it be of God, how is he to know?
Deeps wrote:
Oh that sounds really simple Mike.

BTW This litmus test which you speak of, how is it actually carried out and how does the preacher arrive at the conclusion that it "be of God" ??

The litmus test is the same as it ever has been, and it is adequate for preacher and hearer alike. And, it is of God, for the Son of God authorized it!

"For every tree is known by his own fruit..." Luke 6:44 (KJV)

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." Matthew 7:15

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Matthew 7:16

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. Matthew 7:17

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Matthew 7:18

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Matthew 7:19

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:20 (KJV)

See also: 2 Corinthians 3:1-3, 1 Corinthians 9:2 & 1 Thessalonians 2:13-14 (KJV)

45

News Item1/29/10 4:39 PM
Rainstich  Find all comments by Rainstich
"when it comes to bringing about a change in their attitudes or lifestyle, preaching appears to have little impact."

Note "preaching appears to have little impact."
The problem lies in the "preaching" in this observation which the College arrives at.
However The real problem is where they are seeking the results here, in a congregation which is at best entrenched in Liberal theology at worst convinced of intellectual assent in their religious doctrines.
Thus a works based religion!

The true Christian is moved by regeneration and the Holy Spirit to be "different" from this sin filled world. This route is the narrow path following Jesus Christ in suffering and consolation 1Cor 1:5.

The sermon preached by the minister does not communicate a miraculous "change" to each individual in the pews, every Sunday, except when the Holy Spirit uses this human event for some purpose.

What then does a regular sermon accomplish within the church? Miraculous impact - No!
Perhaps knowledge, perhaps comfort, perhaps joy, perhaps nothing on that particular day for some of the people some of the time.

The preacher does his best as called to serve, so does the individual listening in his vocation. Both are subject to the divine gift of faith to serve wherever as an instrument.

44

News Item1/29/10 3:57 PM
Pew warmer  Find all comments by Pew warmer
We could be careful in our criticism of the sermon/Preacher Because we fall asleep and find the whole sermon boring doesn't necessarily mean the Lord isn't using the same message to speak to another. I know the Lord has spoken directly to me on many occasions when others have not received a similar blessing from the very same means of grace.

Consider Spurgeon's salvation testimony when the Preacher didn't turn up due to the snowstorm. How wonderful God works in such a way to use a stupid instrument, to quote Spurgeon:

"Now it is well that preachers be instructed, but this man was really stupid. He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had little else to say."

The Prince of preachers brought to Christ by a really stupid man? I wonder if some in that primitive methodist church, thought: 'Ohhhhhh Nooooooo he is getting up to preach, what a waste of time, what a limited unlearned message'.

Likewise the Preacher who has spent all week convicted to preach a particular message. The congregation receive nothing from it, yet one poor sinner is providentially seated for the first time and says: How did the Preacher know all this about me!!! Yet others found the message boring!!

If none 'ever' receive a blessing then find a new church!

43

News Item1/29/10 2:51 PM
Jim Lincoln | Nebraska  Find all comments by Jim Lincoln
One should point out that the title could very well be wrong as well. I think any --believer-- will be inspired if he is actually a believer.
Gil Rugh said or, wrote:
The Word of God - as the only Truth - must be taught through all seasons. At times the ministry of the Truth creates trouble - but in turning aside from the Truth teaching becomes nothing but myth. As God's people, proclaiming God's Truth we must remain bold and faithful with it - all the time - depending upon His grace when speaking and listening.
from, [URL=http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=11306113647]]]Preach the Word through All Seasons[/URL]

2 Timothy
4:1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires;
---[URL=http://www.lockman.org/nasb/nasbcmp.php]]]NASB[/URL]

42

News Item1/29/10 12:45 PM
Deeps  Find all comments by Deeps
Mike wrote:
Unless a preacher tests himself, his work, that it be of God, how is he to know?
Oh that sounds really simple Mike.

BTW This litmus test which you speak of, how is it actually carried out and how does the preacher arrive at the conclusion that it "be of God" ??

41

News Item1/28/10 7:34 PM
Mike | New York  Find all comments by Mike
ouch wrote:
Ooooohhh that is definitely Arminian!!
---
And that response is typically ouch's, whoever he is at the moment.

But in your anxiousness to fimd an Arminian bogeyman, you missed something. Unless a preacher tests himself, his work, that it be of God, how is he to know? Or is it assumed if the preacher be a tulip sniffer, his work must be of God, thus needing no proof at all?

1 Thessalonians 5:21
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

40
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