Excerpt from: Brian J. Dodd. Empowered Church Leadership (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2003), 56-7.

How to Rate a Sermon

[ G ] – Generally acceptable to everyone. Full of inoffensive, puerile platitudes; usually described as “wonderful” or “marvelous.”

[ PG ] – For more mature congregations. At times this sermon even makes the gospel relevant to today’s issues; may even contain mild suggestions for change. Often described as “challenging” or “thought provoking,” even though no one intends to take any action or change any attitude.

[ R ] – Definitely restricted to those not upset by the truth. This sermon tells it like it is. Threatening to the comfortable; most often described as “disturbing” or “controversial.” Usually indicates that the preacher has an outside source of income.

[ X ] – Positively limited to those who can handle explosive ideas. This sermon really socks it to ’em. It is the kind of sermon that landed Jeremiah in the well, got Amos run out of town, set things up for the stoning of Stephen; always described as “shocking” or “in poor taste.” The minister who preaches this sermon had better have his suitcase packed and his life insurance paid up.

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