What do you want from a sermon?

Date added: 09/08/18

Most Christians still believe sermons are important, but wish vicars would stop trying to be funny. In a survey launched by Resonate on 21st April, only 1.6% of participants said they saw humour to be the most important element in a sermon. Men in particular said they felt Biblical exposition to be the most important aspect in a sermon, at 49%, with women at 39%. Sermons containing more practical application elements were seen more favourably by women, at 44% versus 36% for men. When asked if they felt sermons on the whole were outdated, 88% of the respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Resonate's research was cited by  The Daily Telegraph in an article about churchgoers' preferences when it comes to the content of sermons.

The survey also asked for participants' views on male and female preachers. Although the vast majority said they had no preference in terms of a preacher's gender, out of the 21% who did, 20% said they preferred men while only 1% said women. This comes more than 20 years after women were accepted into ordained ministry in the Church of England, combined with women's ministry being an accepted part of many Christian denominations.

However, in terms of young people, most of the respondents felt they were not given enough opportunities to preach in church. 48% said they felt chances for those under 21 to mount the pulpit were lacking, with only 30% feeling they were not.

The survey also asked for people's views on their relationship with the Bible and the internet. Although 49% said they saw the internet as a good chance to engage with non-Christians, and nearly 30% said they use social media to share their Christian views and opinions, 64% said they do not use online relationships purely to promote the Bible.