I believe in the sermon. I really do. But…
Sometimes sermons fall dead in the pews. This is not me saying “WE NEED TO LISTEN TO SERMONS BETTER.” I am wondering, why do we preach the way we preach?
I am a veteran of sermon listening. I’ve been going to church for the majority of my life and have been exposed to a TON of sermons. During those sermons I have fallen asleep, I have experienced a boredom that is physically painful, I have felt an awkward pity for many preachers and have, from time to time, been fully and completely enthralled.
Sermon’s are just something we do in churches. We gather. We sit. We sing. We pray. We listen to someone talk for 20 – 40 minutes. We go home. Maybe we talk about the content of the sermon on the way home, or at the restaurant, or maybe even in care group. But that’s it.
I must confess. As a veteran sermon listener and now, pastor, I spend anywhere from 10-25 hours prepping a sermon. Sometimes I come off the stage after preaching asking ‘why?’ Then the questions start piling up…
Was all the prep time worth it? Are people really being transformed? Did I do a good enough job? Do people actually listen or is this a habitual ‘going through the motions’ thing?
Sermon’s need engagement to come alive. They need engagement by the individual, and engagement by the larger church community. This is particularly foundational for Anabaptists. I wonder if the way we preach facilitates a long, brutal death within the pews.
How can we engage sermons in a larger community? How can a sermon transformative?