Q: What makes something preaching? How is a sermon different than a lecture or a motivational speech?

A: The context (worship service) and the content (Word of God).

When someone gives a motivational speech or lecture, he or she might use a Bible verse to support their point. In preaching we start with the Bible, then use our experience and ideas to clarify, emphasize, and illustrate God’s Word.

As pastors and campus missionaries, it’s important for us to see ourselves as preachers—not motivational speakers, presenters, or content creators. When we see ourselves as preachers, we are freed from the expectations of our audience and freed to focus on hearing from God and faithfully preaching that Word to his people.