Sermons for sermons sake are pointless. So often we treat sermons as ends in themselves–so much work goes into giving this oratory performance with the end goal being to deliver a “good” sermon (which most often is determined based on how entertaining it is).
I think sermons are supposed to be means, not ends–means to making disciples. If a sermon doesn’t advance the mission of making disciples, then it’s pretty much pointless.
I can’t find anything in the Bible that talks about teaching, sermonizing with excellence merely for excellence sake. Instead, it seems like it’s all to lead people to what’s best for them, help people navigate the rapids of life, build people up in love, keep them from harm, ground them in truth so they don’t get knocked over. Sermons are one of many tools used to help people live (and love) more like Jesus.
The only time I see eloquent, showy sermons in scripture is when Jesus is describing the Pharisees teaching style. They’re a great show. But they don’t come from a place of love. They don’t help. They miss the heart of God.
But how much do my sermons accomplish that? How much do our Sunday mornings together accomplish that? And how much do we expect sermons to entertain more than to equip?