The concept of preaching has been challenged in the post-modern evangelical church. This may be because the preaching is not good, but it may also be that the hearing is not good.
Preachers need to be diligent in making their sermons Christ centered, exegetical, and applicatory to these post-modern times. On the other hand, hearers of sermons need to train their minds, ears, and rear-ends to endure a 40 minute sermon. My generation has the attention span of a gnat. I have heard it said that even in conversation the 20-somethings down to teens are not really having conversations, but verballing IM-ing each other.
With our culture being visually oriented and having less and less abilities to focus and to concentrate, we as Christians need to retrain our minds and be not conformed to the ways of this world. After-all, faith comes by hearing- and that requires a preacher.
The Right Hearing of Preaching
By this subject matter of preaching the word of God, we may receive a good direction to observe two caveats enjoined by Christ concerning hearing:
The first is concerning the matter which we hear, "Take heed what you hear," Mark 4:24. We must hear nothing with approval except what we know to be the word of God. We must, therefore, be well acquainted with the Scriptures ourselves, and by them test the things which we hear, whether they are the word of God or not, as the men of Berea did, Acts 17:11.
The second caveat is concerning the manner of hearing, "Take heed how you hear," Luke 18:18. That which we know to be grounded upon the Scriptures we must receive, "not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God," 1 Thess. 2:13. We must with reverence attend to it; we must in our hearts believe, and we must in our lives obey it.
-William Gouge, (1575-1653)