Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Boring Preaching, part I

Let's face it: most preaching is boring. It took me years to admit that out loud, but it did not take me years to notice. I came to Jesus as a young adult, around 20. As a new Christian and very much a novice at evangelical culture, I searched around quite a bit. Most disheartening, I found non-boring preaching to be one of the rarest of events. At first, I felt sinful and unholy for thinking this. "After all, these were holy men of God preaching the holy word of God. Who was I to be bored? If only I were a better Christian, perhaps I would be more profoundly impacted by the sermons. None of the other Christians I see complain. They don't say that they are bored. There must be something wrong with me."

That's how I thought. But then, I noticed something equivalent to noticing that the Emperor had no clothes on: all the ministry aimed at teenagers (at the time, the age just younger than I was), worked very hard at not being boring. Youth events aimed at getting dynamic speakers, attractive music, edgy and interesting dialogue. The light came on for me then. I realized that teenagers wouldn't put up with boring teaching and boring services. They would stop showing up. But the fully grown adults would continue to attend and not complain, no matter how dreadful the services were.

For now, I do not want to look at the non-preaching elements of the service. Maybe later. I want to address the pulpit. The first step to getting help with our problems is admitting them. So, let's all say it together, "Hi, my name is Average Christian, and I am bored in most church services because the preaching is boring." There, doesn't that feel better? Breathe out, relax. It is okay to admit the truth. 9 out of 10 evangelical preachers are boring, uninspiring, but at least they are sincere. We know it's true. Let's admit it. I know I feel better. I hope you do too. Read more

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