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Mars Hill Sermon Evaluation

June 8, 2009

Scott Thomas has an interesting post about preaching on the Acts 29 network. One part of it that intrigued me was a form used to evaluate sermons. There are two broad categories that are considered: Faithfulness to God/Scripture, and Communication. Apparently, these categories derive originally from Tim Keller. The Christological focus is particularly helpful, I think.

We use this form to evaluate Acts 29 and Mars Hill sermons preached.

Faithfulness to Scripture and God. These questions are related to the preacher’s theological accuracy.

1. The preaching assertions (points) were clearly rooted in the text and squared with the whole teaching of scripture. (1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Not Sure 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree)

2. The central theme was an illustration of Christ – the message was clearly all about Jesus. (1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Not Sure 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree)

3. The speaker seemed in awe of God, not merely focused upon his sermon and the audience. (1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Not Sure 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree)

4. The speaker avoided moralizing or psychologizing, and distinguished these from the gospel. (1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Not Sure 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree)

5. The goal was to get people face-to-face with God, rather than merely instruct. (1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Not Sure 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree)

6. Christ and His finished work were applied as the practical solution to any problem. (1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Not Sure 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree)

Message Delivery and Communication. These questions are related to the preacher’s communication abilities and connection with the intended audience.

7. It was clear where the preacher was driving – and the progression of points was traceable. (1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Not Sure 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree)

8. The points were presented in a fresh, wise, and striking way as opposed to boring & clichĂ©. (1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Not Sure 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree)

9. At the end of the preaching, the main point was both clear and persuasive. (1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Not Sure 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree)

10. It was clear the speaker understood the hearers’ hopes, fears, problems, concerns, etc. (1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Not Sure 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree)

11. The central metaphor or “hook” was gripping. (1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Not Sure 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree)

12. Jesus was made visible, not just taught about. (1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Not Sure 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree)

13. There was a balance of warmth, love and humility on the one hand and force, power and authority on the other. (1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Not Sure 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree)

14. The notes followed the message and enhanced comprehension. (1 – Strongly Disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Not Sure 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly Agree or N/A)

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6 comments

  1. Brilliant. Thanks Colin. I’ll use this at my next sermon review.


  2. [...] Mars Hill sermon evaluation – one of the better evaluation forms I’ve seen [...]


  3. [...] Mars Hill Sermon Evaluation [...]


  4. It seems these points are a lot less varied than Scripture itself. Also, what about, “Was their main point the focus of the text?” Can the central message of a text be our sinfulness and still be about Jesus (Romans 3)? Why do there have to be notes (Q14)? Is Scripture *always* warn (Q13)? What about the Prophets?


    • No one said there HAD TO BE notes. That’s just what Tim Keller and a lot of us do.The prophets were before the dispensation of grace. Yes, the authority must always be balanced against the warmth of supernatural grace.


  5. very interesting, reading thanks for posting this. I was wondering about the Trinitarian perspective here. it would seem you could preach about christ and not about the spirit nor God the father – which would mean that unitarians would feel pretty much at home… should the central theme really be christ and not God in the fullness of the trinity?



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