Preaching Articles

I was talking to a fellow preacher the other day about the difficulties and challenges of preaching sermons that both touch the people as well as sit under the smile of God. We talked about the inclination today to resort to tactics and tricks to manufacture a connection to the congregation that is neither real nor helpful.

Preaching Under the Frown of God

I heard a preacher the other day who obviously did not put in the hard work of thinking theologically about the lives that his people were living. In addition, the strong scriptural foundation was missing as well. That preacher preached a sermon that did not touch the people. Then, while noticing his floundering, he simply started whooping. The people start shouting, yes, but were they equipped to handle any real engagement with the world or helped in their struggle within it? This kind of preaching is useless.

When people in the congregation have a difficult week, do they have the message that God intended them to have to help them through their struggle when we don’t do our diligent work as preachers? When Grandma died did we deny them the spiritual nourishment from the pulpit that God could have used to aid them through that struggle, because of our sloth in preparation? Even though the people may shout through weak attempts to placate the congregation, God frowns on those efforts.

Are Your Sermons Insulting God?

You may get speaking engagements. You may get the call to pastor the church. But eventually it will catch up with you. Yelling, whooping, and “celebrating” at the end of a WEAK sermon is like sprinkling sugar over some dung and serving it to your spouse on your 50th wedding anniversary. It is worse than inappropriate; it is insulting to the people and your God.

Preaching is hard work, and God is there to help us at every step of the way. Certainly you will not always hit a “home run,” but don’t serve the people warmed over slop, tack a whoop at the end, and then relish in the misguided approbations of humanity. The people may shout, but you aren’t fooling God, and you aren’t helping your people when you serve slop in the pulpit.

Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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Clay Gentry

commented on Sep 6, 2013

Convicting word my friend. I appreciate your powerful illustrations. Thank you.

Derek Combs

commented on Sep 6, 2013

A most concise yet excellent article. All preachers would do well to consider your advice.

Jesus Santos-Medina

commented on Sep 6, 2013

Tgis is a hard saying article, but it reveals the real trhuth about many current sermons. God bless you for this words!

Clay Gentry

commented on Sep 6, 2013

My one caveat to this would be: I can't tell you how many times I have preached a sermon that after the fact I thought was slop but it moved others to repent. I can also tell you there have been plenty of times that I have preached what I thought was a "home run" kind of sermon only to get a ho-hum response from the congregation (and my wife!). Really all we can do is faithfully plant and water and let the Lord give the increase.

Anonymous Contributor

commented on Sep 6, 2013

This is a great article. I try to apply Isaiah 1:18 to every sermon. If we are to do everything decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40) then it stands to reason that whooping and hollering during a sermon would out of order.certainly be

Dr. Ronald Shultz

commented on Sep 6, 2013

Excellent article! Much preaching these days are like what the old Chief said about the visiting evangelist, "Much wind, no rain." All whoop and no meat means weak sheep on the seat. We more than just emotion to move the people in a consistent forward walk. Emotions soar and sink and change in a wink.

Christopher Ruggles

commented on Sep 6, 2013

Amen Brother, excellent article! I've seen to many pastors stand up in the pulpit without enough preparation and they deliver exactly that "warmed over slop"! Their delivery may be full of emotion but the sermons are shallow!

Evang.roger Culwell

commented on Sep 6, 2013

'owell if it didn't come from God it's all slop, that's why I go to him and say Lord you know what they need I don't so he give's me what t preach, he called me mama and daddy didn't, and when he give's the message its not slop

Beverly Jean Sunkle

commented on Sep 18, 2013

I feel that this article is an uplifting and all pastors need to read it. As I set and watch the people during a service I see some sleeping, some not understanding what is said, and some even get up and leave because they are bored and not getting anything out of the service. All through I only speak in nursing rooms I see in these people the love and help they get from what I am saying to them. As I speak to them what God is telling me to speak. God bless everyone.

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