How many sermons have you listened to in your lifetime? When you actually think about this question it is quite scary how quickly the number can begin to rise. This makes the next question a bit daunting. How many of the sermons that you have listened to can you remember? Is it just me that finds the first number quite high and the second number quite low? As I look around church on a Sunday morning only one or two people are taking notes which means either the entire congregation have unbelievable memories or they might share with me in forgetting much of what they are listening to on a Sunday morning.
There are sermons that I heard two weeks ago that I have already forgotten, however, there are other sermons that I heard over 15 years ago that I still remember vividly. This led me to ask myself; what is it that lodges a sermon deep in my mind to be forever remembered?
I am going to pose something that I believe some of the preachers I listen to leave out of sermons, yet it is the difference between whether or not I forget the sermon quickly (perhaps even struggle to pay attention) or remember it for years to come.
I believe some preachers forget to include: FUN!!!
This is actually one of my pet peeves. Church, scripture, prayers and theology can become so serious that I sometimes think people forget that God is also about fun, celebration and life to the fullest!
I want to make it clear that when I say fun I don’t mean to dumb the sermon down and not to preach biblical truths or to leave out all theology whatsoever. A quick look at my bookshelves shows that I am an academic at heart who loves to understand complex truths. When I say fun, it is not so much about the content rather about how we deliver that content.
For example, what was the difference between the classes at school that I loved compared to the classes that I struggled to keep my eyes open in? The teacher had a unique way of making the class fun and come to life and this actually lead to me wanting to learn more! The content of the classes could be very similar but the method of delivery and approach of the teacher was often so very different.
Fun does not mean silliness. Fun can be engaging, meaningful, memorable, full of biblical truths and most of all full of life! Fun can be in the form of a powerful and impacting story or illustration, it can be in the tone of your voice, it can be in your passion as your preach what you believe, it can be in humour, it can be in excitement, it can be in laughter and it can be in the way you might creatively read the biblical passage. There are probably lots of other ways and methods of delivery that can help make a sermon fun and full of life.
The Angels said to the shepherds; “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” (Luke 2:10). Do our sermons each Sunday reflect this ‘joy’, ‘fun’ and ‘life’ that is found in God?