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It does not matter how true the truth you present from the pulpit, if you bore people with it, then you are doing damage.

Too much preaching is boring preaching. Sometimes it is due to the content, sometimes the delivery, sometimes the attitude, sometimes the preacher’s own personality. Whatever the reason, it should not happen.

1. God is not boring.  

Actually, God as a concept presented in a lot of theology has become personality-free. For many, He has essentially become an It, definable by a set of truth statements, but essentially unknown in his personhood. God has a personality. Our role as preachers is to pursue Him and chase Him and long to know Him more, so that we can represent Him effectively.

2. The Bible is not boring.  

How many classes and sermons and story times and lectures and presentations have turned the vivid and gripping self-revelation of God in His Word into a dull set of archaic moralistic tales? Sort of a set of ancient fables without as much of the talking animals as we might prefer. But the epic sweep of Scriptural history, the diversity of genres, the human personalities and the divine personality, the issues to wrestle with, the irony to catch, the pain to feel, the exhilaration to experience, and so much more . . . there is no collection of books like this one!

3. Life is not boring.

Even in a safe neighbourhood where nothing seems to happen and people may complain of being bored, life is not boring. With all its complexities, doubts, troubles, questions, issues, fears, hopes, changes, challenges and memories, life is not boring. As we preach we preach from the inspired text to people desperately in need of what God has to say through the Word to them. Preaching with relevance should not be so hard, as long as we are in touch with life and its challenges.

4. Church is not boring.  

Many churches are, in fact, boring, but church itself is not. God’s glorious plan to call out and redeem a bride for His Son, working with materials that are still very much “works in progress” to build a beautiful temple, that is anything but dull. Now when we turn church into our own little kingdoms and lose any real awareness of what God is doing, then church can become a dull place of petty politics and personal preferences, but church from God’s perspective is never a dull matter.

So why is there dull and boring preaching? It must be something to do with the preacher! Hate to say it, but perhaps this can be a nudge to ask God to search our hearts and show us if there is any of the sin of boring people with the Bible in us? Actually, why not pray and then ask a few folks? It could be delivery, it could be personal manner, it could be that all the enthusiasm we generate for conversation about sport and family evaporates when we stand to preach. It could be a lack of personal vibrancy in our walk with the Lord. It could be a lack of sleep (perhaps due to number 4 above!) It could be something easy to change. Or it could be that we genuinely are finding God and the Bible and life and the church to be boring. If so, let this post be your call to a sabbatical or urgent action. Boring people through preaching is too dangerous to let it happen even once more.

Peter Mead is involved in the leadership team of a church plant in the UK. He serves as director of Cor Deo—an innovative mentored ministry training program—and has a wider ministry preaching and training preachers. He also blogs often at BiblicalPreaching.net and recently authored Pleased to Dwell: A Biblical Introduction to the Incarnation (Christian Focus, 2014). Follow him on Twitter

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David Buffaloe

commented on May 30, 2013

There must be passion in the preacher, the fire of God. But even with that some will be bored anyway. Why? They are spiritually dead. As a blind man cannot appreciate the color "red", the spiritually dead cannot appreciate the red shed blood of Christ. Preach Jesus with passion, brother, and let the dead be bored!

Charles Ingwe

commented on May 30, 2013

Surely to be at the place Peter is talking about the comment of brother David stands cardinal. The passion for the word of God will always attract the fire of the holy spirit. Christ preached from that annointing and the hearers openly stated that their hearts had been pierced as he spoke from a position of authority. Will there be some who will be bored with such a sermon? I think not really boredom but offence to those who have set themselves as enemies of the cross. When the word comes with annointing it carries the picture stated in Jer 23:29- " Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord, and like a hammer that beaketh the rock in pieces?" Who can be bored under such a sermon? Good article, Peter, I am blessed. I needed that.

Steven Nash

commented on May 30, 2013

Two of my favorite titles of books on preaching: "30 minutes to raise the dead" and "Saving Eutychus." Think about it, based on the article and comments!

Michael Allen

commented on May 31, 2013

There has to be passion in the preacher, absolutely! I wonder sometimes if we get 'passion' confused with 'charisma' or 'showmanship'? The revivalist preacher Jonathan Edwards would write out his sermon longhand and then follow the words with his finger as he read it from the pulpit, he was not known as an engaging speaker yet he was at the forefront of the Welsh revival. There are those our congregations who will get bored whoever is speaking, equally there are those who will hear God's voice whoever is speaking. 'By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you--I, Paul, who am "timid" when face to face with you, but "bold" toward you when away!' As preachers, I believe, our passion has to be shown in our lives and our commitment to do our best for God, rather than how we deliver a sermon.

Zena Sefo

commented on May 31, 2013

I always believe that anybody can preach but it is the anointing of the Holy Spirit that makes the difference in everything including the delivery and the hearts of the listeners. I agree with David Buffaloe in the dying spirit of the church members or the audience. From experience as a christian, it does not matter how hurt I can be going to church to listen to a preacher who sometimes can not control his temper. If I want to open my heart to the Lord and enjoy the sermon not the person. I will enjoy the Word of God. But of course, the delivery is very important to me, some delivery that be very boring, so again like what Peter said, it could be anything but the Holy Spirit soothes the heart to desire to listen no matter what.

C.brian Ross

commented on May 31, 2013

Agree with others. I have listened to messages that were Bible-based; doctrinally sound; grammatically correct - and delivered in a flat, emotionless, voice. All of the other aspects are important, and we must beware of those who preach heresy with passion! However, without passion, the listeners are unlikely to be touched. Our God is a god of passion - let's emulate Him!

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