As I went for my morning walk, I was thinking about how we as preachers evolve or at least should evolve. We are to grow as preachers. We are to become more accustomed to building quality messages as we mature in Christ.
Through the years, I have noticed something among preachers. A quick disclaimer: I have been guilty of this on many occasions. It appears that sometimes in our sermons, we spend more time developing a catchy title than we do writing quality content. So my question is: Title or Content? Sure the people can remember the title for a long time, but titles do not grow people. Content does!
When I began preaching, I worked hard to build a great title. In fact, I would get the title first and build a sermon around it. As I was looking back over some of my old sermons I noticed a couple of titles that I had built a message around:
“Don’t Be A Weinie Christian!”
“Get Off Your Spiritual Buts”
“I’ve Fallen And Can Get Up”
“Oscar Meyer Christians”
“There Were No Easter Bunnies At Calvary”
“No Smoking Section”
Some of these sermon titles are remembered by some of my family, but they do not remember what it was about. This is where content is key. It is what is within the message that helps people grow spiritually. It might be good advertising to have a catchy title, but word of mouth advertising is better when you have something important to say all the time. What I mean is, if we preach with good content, people will invite their friends to hear more messages with good content. When people learn something, they want to share it.
I am challenged in my own life to prepare a message where people leave with something learned and gained from it. If it is a slick title with a weak message they are sure to be disappointed. Kind of like a great title on a “B” movie.