In a recent sermon I heard by Haddon Robinson, he remarked offhandedly "It is commonly misconceived that great preachers make great churches, but it is the opposite that is true: great churches make great preachers."
I'd like to expound on what Haddon meant for he was absolutely right:
1) A great church hungers for God's Word. This inspires the preacher to labor faithfully to bring forth something that will satisfy that hunger.
2) A great church knows God's Word. The preacher would never bring a surface level, ad hoc "talk" before a people he knew were faithful students and practitioners of the Bible.
3) A great church prays. The greatest 19th century preacher Charles Spurgeon was asked the secret to his success. He rightly responded, "My people pray for me."
4) A great church serves. A preacher knows he is only one servant among many, but because others are using their gifts as well, the church grows to maturity as each does its own work.
5) A great church proclaims the Gospel. The preacher may have the privilege of opening God's Word to feed the people on Sunday for 30-60 minutes, but in the remaining minutes of the week, God's people are heralding the truth of the Gospel in their own spheres of influence.
6) A great church bears with its pastor. A preacher who is given permission by his church to learn from mistakes, take risks, and to fail possesses a boldness and power that a preacher that lives under scrutiny does not.
7) A great church makes disciples. A great church receives the Great Commission of Jesus (Mt. 28:19-20) and accepts it as their own responsibility, not the responsibility of the pastor alone. And yet to serve a church on fire for the Great Commission is almost as inspiring as the Master's command itself.
8) A great church loves. A church that loves its pastor, it's community, and one another has the greatest power source in the world. Christ builds His church with love and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. A pastor that serves a loving church is serving a great church, and such a church inspires a preacher to become a greater one each day and year of his life.