As I review the Toledo UBF messages each week this Fall, I will use a 5 star rating system. Here is my explanation as to what each star means. [Updated to include more detailed descriptions]
The Standard 5 Star Rating System
The standard rating system applies to my stars. But I think this is too boring. So I’m going to spruce things up a little.
My 5 Star Rating System
1 star – monkey (flawed, confusing, disheartening)
This messenger doesn’t know what he or she is doing. They have major flaws in their understanding of the material they are presenting. They don’t speak or write well. Typically this kind of messenger is just putting on a show, trying to perform. These messages are just lectures giving information. This messenger has a lot of learning to do and really shouldn’t be in the pulpit.
This messenger tries to follow some sort of prescribed formula for deliving a message. They often share a message that stifles the audience. They may state the gospel but don’t know how to reveal or articulate the gospel of Jesus. The message may inspire the messenger to a degree, but the message falls flat for most of the audience. This messenger usually has potential to become a preacher, but falls short of preaching a sermon.
3 stars – speaker (hopeful, heart-moving, lively)
This messenger knows how to speak to people and how to move them. He or she speaks to people’s hearts as well as their minds. Although the gospel of Jesus may be hidden or not well articulated at times by this messenger, he or she knows how to inspire hope. This kind of message is rarely boring and offers a richness that should be the norm for any preacher. This messenger has had some good training. He or she often shares a sermon but may be prone to just deliver a message.
4 stars – preacher (inspiring, Christ-centric)
This messenger understands how to reveal the gospel of Jesus, as opposed to merely stating the gospel. He or she articulates the gospel themes and uses the gospel principles correctly. This messenger delivers a sermon that deeply moves people toward Christ. This messenger is a highly skilled wordsmith who could easily earn a living as a preacher.
5 stars – Spurgeon (vulnerable, humorous, inspiring, Christ-centric)
The 5 star rating is reserved for those rare gems that reveal the gospel like a Mozart symphony. This is a messenger who shares a sermon with the vibrant life of a Handel chorus. The bar for this rating is the 2013 Global Leadership Summit sermons by Andy Stanley and Chris Brown, both of which get 5 stars. This is a sermon that speaks to the soul on a deep level.