Dr. David Allen has taught that “A mist in the pulpit creates a fog in the pew.” In other words, if a pastor doesn’t know what he is trying to teach, then his people are certainly not going to understand it. I have sat through many sermons (and preached quite a few sadly) where it was painfully obvious the preacher didn’t have a full grasp on the subject he was presenting to his audience. For this reason preachers must be diligent to determine the central idea of the text that they are preaching. Once they have this idea down pat they will be able to pass what Dr. Bryan Chappell calls the 3 a.m. test.
“If your spouse or roommate were to roll you out of bed at 3 A.M. and ask, “What is the sermon about this Sunday morning?” if you cannot answer in one crisp sentence, the sermon’s not ready to preach.
Preachers, I challenge you, as well as myself, to not ever preach a sermon when it won’t pass the 3 a.m. test.