Paul was an amazing Bible teacher:
1. The guy studied under the Yoda of his day, Gamaliel.
2. Paul studied crazy hours and knew his Bible inside and out.
3. He wrote a big chunk of the New Testament.
4. You know you're an amazing Bible teacher when your sermons become Scripture!!
So you'd think with this résumé that Paul would be an engaging preacher, right?
Paul was boring. Which is fine … except when it leads to someone's death!
Seriously, did you know that dry preaching can be a health hazard?!
In Acts 20, Paul is waxing eloquently. And he waxes on and on and on. Apparently he forgot Mr. Miyagi's number one rule: "Wax on AND wax OFF!"
The message was dry and stuffy. A young guy, Eutychus, sat down by a window to get some fresh air. He needed to do something to keep his attention during the sermon!
First a yawn, then some daydreaming. Until finally, it happened: Paul's preaching was so boring, it put this teenager to sleep.
And Eutychus fell out the window. Three stories. Straight down. Splat.
Now don't worry, the young guy came out OK. It helps to have an Apostle of the living God handy to heal you!
But we don't have that luxury in today's world. Listen, boring preachers can kill you! Don't believe me? Look around:
1. Are your teens so jacked-up excited about their church that they're texting and Facebooking their friends with massive invites to Sunday mornings?
2. Do you see young people knocking each other over at church to fill all the seats and create standing-room-only space?
3. Is there a movement of teenagers and young adults swamping the church's facilities, breathing new life and great hope into the future of your church?
No? Then maybe you're experiencing a Eutychus Moment. If the passion and engagement is missing in the message, the next generation will be missing in the pews!
Young people WILL mobilize behind something they believe in (just Google things like "Hunger Games" or "American Idol" if you don't believe me!). The problem is that no one will ever follow you down the street if you're carrying a banner that says, "Onward toward mediocrity."
The lesson from Paul is simple: you can have more degrees than fahrenheit, but if you're not preaching life, your church will LOSE life!!
I don't know about you, but I'm ringing the three-alarm fire siren over the fact that the Body of Christ is hemorrhaging out young people! If we aren't fired up and passionately preaching life, we will continue seeing Eutychuses searching for life outside the church (which always leads to death).
Let's take heed, saddle up, and do whatever it takes to engage a generation with the promise and excitement of Jesus Christ!!