In Part 1 I began a discussion for those called upon to listen to sermons. Here we will review some basics to distinguish sermons from other contemporary forms of communication.
A SERMON IS NOT A MUSIC VIDEO
I know. This comparison may be lost on those to whom music video is just as anachronistic as “butter churn” or Vitalis. But the medium of communication inaugurated by the music video shaped entertainment and limited the collective attention span in a mighty way. We should not expect a sermon to last only 3 ½ to 5 minutes or have great special effects, heavy make-up, pyrotechnics, or teased hair. The preacher should not enter the pulpit through the mist and smoke created by a fog machine.
Some say that the modern audience is no longer able to focus on an average-length sermon. But the content of a proper sermon is infinitely more valuable than a music video, an episode of Law & Order, or even the three-hour finale of The Apprentice. If we can sit through those, we can pay attention to a 30-, 45-, or (whoa!) even hour-long sermon about matters of eternal consequence.
A SERMON IS NOT A BLOG POST
In the world of constant, rapid change, blogging is old news. It’s also sort of like navels: everybody’s got one. They can also be anonymous, untrue, and vicious. Not the sort of thing with which to compare sermons.
But sometimes our temptation is to treat sermons the same way. The preacher might use the (anonymous) material of another preacher or throw assertions out without foundation or let the proverbial comment stream go wild until – after 732 posts – the thread is finally exhausted because the people are, too, and no one remembers what set the whole thing off.
A SERMON IS NOT A TEXT MESSAGE
A prchr cnt rdc t msg 2 its strppd cmpnts & xpct 2 b bff 4vr w/ t cngrtn.
A SERMON IS NOT A TWEET
But, if it were:
10:17 a.m. – Walking to the pulpit.
10:18 a.m. – opening the Bible. Turn to James 1:16-18.
10:19 a.m. – What good is God?
10:24 a.m. – Sorry, been in the bathroom (swine flu).
10:26 a.m. – Walking stage left and gesticulating: Stand firm in trials.
10:45 a.m. – Battery went dead; had to recharge
10:52 a.m. – Out of cell range for a while…
11:04 a.m. – Genuflecting: Pray with me.
A sermon is not a book, an owner’s manual, or a “Idiot’s Guide” to whatever. It is the proclamation of the word of God to the people of God through the man of God whom He has called and equipped for that purpose.
So, dmnd gd srmns that prclm Gd’s wrd. BFF, lol, CU ltr.