According to a new Gallup poll, the number one reason Americans attend church is to hear Biblical preaching.
And the numbers are high: 83 percent of Protestant worshipers cited sermons that “teach you more about scripture” as a major factor in why they go to church.
Almost as many — eighty percent — cited the importance of practical application, ie: teaching that connects our faith to daily life.
Biblical preaching ranks above kids’ programs, outreach, and social activities.
And it ranks way above music. Only 38 percent consider the worship band and/or choir a major factor.
What’s the lesson here?
Preach the Bible every week. The best way to do this is to build each sermon around one text, supported with supplemental texts.
During the introduction, provide relevant backstory on the passage. This need not be a seminary-level history lesson. Just enough information about the author, characters, and cultural surroundings so that your listeners can place the text in its proper context. This can usually be done in a couple of minutes.
Pull major points of your message — and especially your main idea — from the text.
As often as possible, preach through an entire book of the Bible. A good way to begin this practice is to cover a chapter a week, especially if many of your listeners don’t have much of a foundation in the Word. This will enable you to get through books quickly, helping your listeners establish a general knowledge of Scripture, which will prepare them for deeper studies.
However, even when you’re not preaching through a book of the Bible, always keep the first point in mind: Build each message around one Biblical text, drawing your points from it.
Christianity Today also published an article related to this Gallop survey.