Sunday, October 26, 2008

Boring Preaching

I came across this “top ten” list on the internet (Top Ten Ways to Put Your Congregation to sleep) and I thought I would share it.

1. Make sure that your material is dry and boring. Make sure that your material is either highly technical or complex. If at all possible fill your sermon with specialized academic content that is not easily understood without prior study and research.
2. Do not include any explanations or illustrations to make the content understandable to the average person in your audience.
3. Schedule your sermon to be at the end of a long day or after a big meal. This will give added incentive for drowsiness and lethargy.
4. Speak softly and avoid any expression or vocal variety that might distract or interest your audience.
5. Stand still behind the pulpit for the entire sermon. Any movement or sudden gestures could wake up your audience.
6. Avoid any variation in style in your presentation. Do not change from talking to using a flip chart, PowerPoint or any other kind of visual aid or prop that will attract attention.
7. Do NOT include any humor or stories in your sermon that might illustrate the important points you wish to communicate.
8. Do not keep to the topic of the sermon. Spend a large amount of time rambling about subjects or personal experiences that are boring and totally off topic.
9. Speak about a topic that is very familiar to your audience. Keep your content to things that they already know.
10. Provide highly detailed handouts, so that your congregation will not miss out on any important information during their snooze. Make sure that you do not say anything that is not included in the hand out. For best results, just read the handout word for word.
Hopefully, by following carefully the ten tips outlined here, you will have the satisfaction of seeing an entire congregation snoring quietly and happily throughout your entire sermon. If you do not follow these tips you may be alarmed to discover that your audience is alert and interested in what you have to say!
So, how about it, don’t you think it is about time we preachers made sure that our sermons are not just Scriptural, theologically sound, and uplifting, but also interesting and useful? I do!

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