For a while now I’ve been thinking about sermons. Especially in how they seem to be the centre of evangelical worship. I know that preaching has power. I also know that there is a special experience in listening to someone speak and when what is being said starts hitting within ourselves it is an entirely unique experience. You can see this in the response that good orators get Obama being a great example.
In church however I think the sermon has been elevated far above it’s rightful place. The question is for what purpose? Why do powers that be insist on the status of the sermon to be so high? Is there any point in having a sermon at all?
I thought I would look at my life and the impact of sermons on me. I’ve not always been sceptical about sermons. I have tried my hardest to listen and engage and to refer and cross refer. The switching off has been a more recent phenomenon.
So I look back into my past and just to avoid bias look at the rosier time of my spiritual life and the time where I consistently heard good sermons. This was in bible college starting about 10 years ago. I can quite honestly say that after most sermons we students would generally be happy with it. After all we got our lecturers preaching and also a host well known speakers from around the country.
In my three years of being in Bible college I reckon I heard 90 sermons. Now amongst those 90 how many do I remember? A real deep dig of memory reckons about 10. But on discussing with Luiza I realised that I actually don’t remember what the sermon was about. Just some illustration or joke from the sermon. A deeper dig and the figure comes out. 2. I can remember 2 sermons out of 90. Out of 90 of the best I can remember 2.
I can remember 2.2% of sermons in the best case scenario.
I remember more songs though. And I remember more people. And the word of God is about people innit? and there’s a bunch of songs in there. So why this massively fraudulent personality development course when the word is supposed to be preached? Let me see Jesus. I don’t want to see what you did with your kids yesterday nor do I want a tired retelling of the prodigal return. I want to see Jesus.
So down with the sermon.
Great logic there.