I will let you in on a little secret I don’t normally share: I hate bad sermons.
Of course beauty is in the eye (ear) of the beholder and all that, but if your sermon is going to last for more than 20 minutes, I really hope that 1) you know what you are talking about, 2) you are skilled at public speaking, 3) you can say your thing with at least a modicum of inspiration, and 4) you can do all these things without needlessly repeating yourself!
I spent the last 20 years of ministry involved with prisoners, addicts, and homeless people (and their kids). This is not the glamorous side of ministry. This is not the part that generates a lot of money – at least not from the people we serve. This work attracts a lot of ministers, but usually not the polished/professionals. And so, in this line of work, I have encountered far more people attempting to preach of whom I was finding out this is not their calling, than in any other.
And while I am on the topic, let me say that I hate when someone leads a prayer for a group and takes the opportunity to turn that into a lame sermon for the rest of us – you know one that just drones on and on and on usually picking on some sin one or more of us in the group is struggling against.
Let me qualify all of that statement just a moment. A brief caveat here: I totally am sympathetic with beginners who are growing as ministers. None of us start out as polished professionals. I really do not want to discourage someone who is sincerely growing in grace. But I sense that there is a lack of respect sometimes that treats this segment of society as a captive audience who we can take out all our fears upon in a sermon or prayer. And I want to challenge that!