(Not just for preachers)

Mediocrity is a blight in any vocation, but especially in preaching. By "mediocrity" I mean inferior, insignificant, incompetent, and unimportant. Such preaching is marked by novelty and brings no eternaladvantage. It does not require much from either the speaker or the hearer. It does not address to the issues as defined by God, and is not characterized by zeal, insight, or urgency. Unfortunately, this is the kind of preaching myriads of people are subjected to every week. Their spiritual insight is not enlarged by such preaching, their hearts are not warmed, and their minds are not sanctified. Lukewarmness in preaching is even more serious than lukewarmness in those that hear the preaching. It has a dampening effect upon the individual's quest for heaven, hides the truth of God from men, and incurs the indignation of God. There would be far less lukewarmness in the pews if there were not so much of it in the pulpits. Mediocre preaching reflects an unproductive mind in matters pertaining to life and godliness. When you declare war on mediocrity, you launch an aggressive attack against surface study, shallow concepts, and hasty preparation. You determine to put yourself into the good work of preaching with all of your heart. You handle the Word of God as something that is living and powerful; something that feeds the soul, and produces daily life in the believer. You refuse to corrupt it, or represent it as secondary in any sense of the word. Declaring war on mediocrity compels the preacher to involve his heart, soul, mind, and strength in his preaching. He sees a sermon as an opportunity to turn people toward heaven, gladden the heart of His Savior, and intrigue the minds of elect angels. "Mediocre" and "average" are enemies of the preacher. They conflict with zeal, spiritual excellence, and pure hearts--indispensable ingredients to acceptable preaching.

In joyful expectation of glory, Given O. Blakely