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What is the purpose of preaching? Think about it for a moment. Is it to fill half an hour of the worship service? To provide more knowledge for people? To impress others with our knowledge of Scripture? To teach the Word of God?

According to D.L. Moody, the purpose of preaching is to compel others to take action.

Moody, the famous evangelist of the 19th Century was once asked in an interview, “How can a young man hold the people’s attention (during the sermon)?”

Moody’s answer from over a century ago should impact the way we preach today. He replied, “Get hold of their curiosity. If you have got a good thing to say, say it in the beginning. Don’t get into ruts; strike out a path of your own. It is said of Cicero, the great Roman orator, that when he had spoken everyone would go out of the building saying, ‘What a magnificent address! What an orator!’ But when Demosthenes, the Greek orator, had finished, the people would say, ‘Let us go and fight Philip!’ He had fired them up with the cause.”

Sermons must end with an application – a “takeaway,” if you will. If a sermon doesn’t answer the question of “What do I do because of this message?” we’ve not fully accomplished our objective. Preachers must provide their hearers with a “what now?” that helps them take action on the subject just discussed. 

Resource’s Origin:
The Life of Dwight L. Moody by William R. Moody. Fleming H. Revell Company, 1900, Page 460.

Topics Illustrated Include:
Dwight L. Moody
Paying Attention
Taking Action

(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)