It’s the problem pastors don’t want to talk about

Thom Schultz, the founder and President of Group Publishing, interviewed about a dozen churchgoers, asking them two questions:

  1. Did you go to church last weekend?
  2. What was the sermon about?

Not one of them could recall the topic of sermon or its main point. CLICK HERE to watch the video.

I found the same thing when I interviewed a few attendees at a Christian leadership retreat last December. Take a look:

Your sermon: gone in 60 seconds?

Pastors spend years learning theology, hermeneutics, homiletics, and exposition. Each week they invest 15-20 hours or more in sermon prep.

Yet everything they say is forgotten within days, hours – or even minutes.

Pastors know this, and many don’t seem to care. Hear the words of Aaron Syversten, a pastor from New Jersey:

“…sermons aren’t preached to be remembered.  Admittedly, this can be tough to come to terms with at first, but just because sermons aren’t remembered doesn’t mean they aren’t vital in the life of a church.  Preaching is part of the routine nourishment that God provides his people over a long period of time to grow them into spiritual maturity, much like food is part of the routine nourishment that we need over time for our physical bodies.  Do you remember what you had for dinner last Tuesday?  How about Wednesday, January 3rd?  Or Monday, October 10, 2016?  Probably not, but not remembering your meals doesn’t negate the importance of eating regularly for the nourishment of your body.  So it is with preaching, they aren’t served to be remembered, they are served to nourish our souls from God’s Word.”

This an amusing analogy, but it doesn’t make sense.

Once you consume food it performs its function: it nourishes the body. It doesn’t matter whether you remember what was on your plate. 

But a forgotten sermon cannot perform its function: the renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2).

You can’t meditate on a message the brain can’t recall.

Want to preach more memorable sermons? I can help.

I’ve worked in the television business for four decades. I’ve created hundreds of memorable training, persuasion and advertising videos for corporate clients.

Here’s the secret to a memorable video: work with the brain to help it remember. I’ve created a free resource that will help you create sermons that stick.

Sign up for my free online mini-course, “The Nine Commandments of Great Online Preaching.” Commandments 4, 5 and 6 will show you how to make your sermons more memorable. Sign up for the course now – it takes less than an hour to complete. And I offer a money back guarantee (I’m joking – the course is free).

Visit to sign up now and watch any time.

Go ahead. It’s free.

Published On: February 25, 2022 / Categories: Church, Online Preaching, Outreach /

David Murrow, The Online Preaching Coach, is the author of Why Men Hate Going to Church and many other bestselling books. David is an award winning television producer whose work has been seen on ABC, NBC, PBS, CBS, Discovery Networks, BBC World Service and dozens more. His Online Preaching Cohort trains pastors in the art of on-screen communication.

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