Tips for sleepy Sundays
October 31 2002 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

Tips for sleepy Sundays | Friday, Nov 1, 2002

Friday, Nov 1, 2002

Tips for sleepy Sundays

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor

When I was a young pastor still testing my homiletical wings, a good friend offered free sermon ratings each Sunday morning.

As he exited the sanctuary, Johnny Brown would usually say something like "That was about an eight." There was an occasional nine, and every now and then he'd shake his head, sleepy-eyed, and quietly confide, "Bubba, I can't give that one more than four."

I'm sure Johnny is not alone in rating the preacher's performance on Sunday mornings - or in dozing off when the fare proves less than scintillating.

Unfortunately, pastors are unequally gifted at public speaking and have differing levels of access to training and education.

Most preachers I know work hard at preparing their sermons, and I don't believe God would call someone to ministry through whom He could not speak.

But, there are always those Sundays that come after a week in which sickness or funerals or administrative trials have robbed the pastor of preparation time.

Some are tempted to lean on another preacher's sermon that they have read but not made their own. Others may plod ahead with a text they haven't sufficiently studied, or pull out an old outline whose content remains fuzzy.

And some of those sermons turn out to be, shall we say, real snoozers.

Monarch Books recently sent me a review copy of a little book called "101 Things to Do During a Dull Sermon."

It was good for a laugh, but most of the ideas were either lame or impractical. I don't know anyone old enough to read the book, for example, who would try tip 42, which involves trying to crawl under all the pews without getting caught.

The best idea I saw was number 7, which suggested forming as many words as possible from the letters in Methuselah.

I have what I believe is a better suggestion.

If there are cobwebs on the pulpit one Sunday, and you can't get a handle on the message, try praying for the preacher. Ask the Lord to grant clarity of thought and the right words to say. Ask for the grace of more preparation time in the coming week. And ask God to speak to you, even if the sermon-in-progress does not.

Time spent in prayer is never wasted.

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10/31/2002 11:00:00 PM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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