The preacher aims to confront, convict, convert, and comfort men and women through the preaching of biblical concepts. So, I [Adrian Rogers] would identify five characteristics that mark an effective sermon: It will be biblical in content, applicable, pertinent, understandable, and move to action, thus changing the individual in some constructive manner.
Preaching is more than the dissemination of truth. It is not primarily information, but transformation. It is not so much filling a bucket, as lighting a torch. The preacher is attempting to accomplish something in the hearts and minds of people. That action may be repentance, rejoicing, tithing, or soul-winning.
An effective sermon moves toward effective action. If there is no call to action, there has been no sermon preached, only a lesson rendered. Some teaching is like a messenger boy who delivers a message to the front door and walks away. A sermon knocks on the front door and does not leave until it has secured an order.
A sermon should be Scriptural, understandable, persuasive, goal-oriented, direct, and personal.
*This question and answer were extracted from "Love Worth Finding: The Life of Adrian Rogers and His Philosophy of Preaching.”