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Boring sermons | W. David Phillips

Boring sermons

We have all sat through them. We have all preached them. We all hate them: boring sermons.

Sermons are the currency of most churches. They have a pivotal role in the life of the church because they have the ability to affect change in people.

Yet many times they are boring. They do not connect. So we speak louder, flail our arms, introduce tanks on the stage or give away a new car to get people to come and listen.

Sermons are a catalyst for meaningful change by using human contact in a way that no other medium can. Many times it isn’t until you communicate the message with people in person that you can establish a visceral connection that motivates people to hear clearly God’s message specifically for them. That connection is why average sermons sometimes get traction and brilliant sermons with brilliant ideas die.

Sermons have an ebb and flow about them. Effective sermons include bursts of movement, contrasts of content, delivery, and emotion. Your brain enjoys tapping into ideas when there is continual movement and the unwrapping of ideas. You can see that visually as you notice people leaning forward in anticipation of each new movement.

Preaching takes work and time to breathe life into it. It is not throwing together facts and information. It is partnering with the Spirit to allow him to breathe the breath of life into your words in a way that moves people into a deepening relationship with God.

Is it worth putting this level of commitment into our sermon preparation? The question we should ask is, How badly do I want what God has taught me to live in the lives of others?

David has been a systems thinker most of his life. He has started three businesses as well as designed and developed systems and processes in existing organizations. He has a Doctorate in Leadership and has also done additional post-graduate work in communications.

He has also pastored 3 churches and loves to think about, write about and podcast about scripture, theology, and leadership.

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  • We’re doing a terrible disservice to Scripture if we make it boring. I have a friend who, upon conversion, read the bible straight through in about a week. He’d get home from work and just start reading, he couldn’t put it down. Our material is really that good. Sometimes we need to step back and get the perspective of how amazing the message really is before we make it boring for the crowd on Sunday morning.

  • We make it boring when we get lazy James…It takes work to preach effectively.

    We get into a rut in style and sermons become bland. We need informed imagination to present the message as Jesus did.

  • Too true. One of my sermon preparation disciplines is to dwell with the passage all week so that I can find the point where it connects with me and the church. I read and meditate on the scripture first thing in the morning and then take it out with me into the neighborhood. God has never failed to bring connection between his word and his world. Unfortunately, I’ve failed as seeing the connection. It takes discipline to see what God is doing (and lazy people aren’t good at discipline).


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