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The 3am Test

March 24, 2008

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“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. You need an idea people can grasp. If the sermon’s idea is, “In the Babylonian incarceration of God’s people, they suffered for seventy years to determine what God’s plan was and never could determine it…” and you keep talking, that idea is not going to pass the 3 A.M. test. We need something like “God remains faithful to faithless people,” something that’s crisp.”

(Bryan Chapell, interviewed on Preachingtodaysermons.com)

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One comment

  1. I don’t necessarily agree. A short crisp thought can be helpful, but it can also be shallow and trite. Deeper thoughts and deeper messages, ones that require deeper thinking, often cannot be summed up in one short sentence.



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