It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. - Galatians 5:1
Today's Devotional Insight...
I hadn’t preached much, and I didn’t preach well. Unfortunately, I was unware of this, but it was crystal clear to the people in attendance at that small country church. At first it was just yawns. Then I noticed the distant stares. Eventually I watched as the eyes across the room succumbed to the mind-numbing droning coming from the pulpit. I had successfully ended months of insomnia for many worshipers that morning. But the worst part is I had no idea how to keep from doing it again. I was fresh out of seminary. I had been taught how to parse Greek verbs and exposit Scripture, but I had no idea how to keep people awake in a sermon. I needed to learn how to give the audience a break.
Burlington, Vermont’s Ben & Jerry’s has done this successfully. It not only encourages bringing your dog to work and personal yoga classes, it also offers a room with beds and pillows where tired employees can get some much-needed shut-eye. While working in an ice cream factory would be incentive enough for me to be productive, a nap would be the cherry on top. The point is clear: When you’re tired, you need permission to take a break.
Our churches are full of people on Sunday mornings who are tired from staying up late the night before. They watched the end of the game that went into overtime. They were out late with friends. They caught the end of “Saturday Night Live.” The people in attendance on Sundays have grown accustomed to 30-second videos on social media and 140 characters in tweets. They’re used to being entertained and distracted at the touch of a button, and we expect them to be enthralled as we explain Paul’s teaching about circumcision for 30 to 45 minutes. There’s got to be something we can do. Putting blankets and pillows in our seats on Sundays may not help our cause, but we do need to give them permission to take break. We can do that with a good story.
Today’s Pastoral Resource...
As rewarding as it is to write sermons week after week, sometimes we need a little encouragment and direction. This free guide will give you that motivation you need to write another God-centered sermon that glorifies His name. Get started with this free guide.