14 Vance Havner Quotes for Sermons


One of the most influential preachers in recent church history was the late Vance Havner. What set him apart was his ability to get the point across without saying much. Havner’s humorous one liners will make you smile while also piercing your soul. Below is a list of my favorite quotes and sayings from Dr. Havner. They make great additions to sermons, lectures and newsletters.

Vance Havner Quotes for Sermons and Newsletters

  1. “We are the salt of the earth, not the sugar. Our ministry is to cleanse and not just change the taste.”
  2. “Too many churches start at eleven o’clock sharp, and end at twelve o’clock dull.”
  3. “Plenty of church members are shaky about what they believe, while not many are shaken by what they believe.”
  4. “Some preachers ought to put more fire into their sermons, or more sermons into the fire.”
  5. “The devil will let a preacher prepare a sermon if it will keep him from preparing one himself.”
  6. “The church is a hospital for sinners, and not a museum for saints.”
  7. “It is one of the ironies of the ministry that the very man who works in God’s name is often hardest put to find time for God.”
  8. “If they had a social gospel in the days of the prodigal son, somebody would have given him a bed and a sandwich and he never would have gone home.”
  9. “When you are up to your ears in crocodiles, it’s no time to discuss draining the swamp.”
  10. “There’s a price to pay to be a holy man of God. You have to buck the current because the tide’s running the other way.”
  11. “Sometimes your medicine bottle has on it, “Shake well before using.” That’s what God has to do with some of His people. He has to shake them before they are ever usable.”
  12. “Jesus performed miracles but didn’t advertise them. We advertise them but don’t perform them.”
  13. “I’m tired of experts who know all the answers when they don’t even know what the question is.”
  14. “If you want to be popular, preach happiness. If you want to be unpopular, preach holiness.”

Reverend Billy Graham on Vance Havner

“I don’t know of any man in my generation who has so stirred revival fires in the hearts of so many people throughout the nation as has Vance Havner. Whenever I see a book by Vance Havner, I immediately purchase it, because I know that I am going to get some good thoughts for my own sermon material.” – Reverend Billy Graham

More Quotes from Famous Preachers

Want more quotes? Check out 20 Quotes from Famous Preachers. The list includes a variety of quotes from well-known preachers and evangelists whose passion for the lost was evident in every sermon they preached.


Starting in 2001 as a webmaster and contributor for Ministrymaker Magazine, Kim Linton's articles and technology guides have been published on a variety of websites including Woman's Day and Intel, and featured on several news sites including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.