Dull Preaching

Author: Jim Elliff

“Dull preachers make the best martyrs,” said Spurgeon. “They are so dry they burn well.” Well said. My contention is that dullness in preaching is not so much in the scant ability of the preacher as it is in the dry-as-dust heart of the same. Ross Perot was not heard because he could speak like Charlton Heston, but because you at least knew that he believed and was exercised by what he believed enough to unload the burden. Dull hearts make dull preachers. But I must also say that dull ears can ruin the best of sermons. And dull ears are outgrowths of dull hearts also. There is nothing more devastating to a Sunday than putting both of them together. You might as well be living with Cain in the land of Nod. The preacher blows arid desert air on the people, and the people flap their eyelids shut, the dust of indifference circling up from their nodding heads. Ever been there?

Dull preachers and dull hearers infect each other. But live preaching and live listening are also contagious. I have noticed for some time that churches make the preachers and preachers make the churches. A sermon will catch on like hotcakes in the minds of the listeners when preached in a different church, while the same sermon sits like beef steak in the stomachs of the crew back home.

Let’s make a pledge. Preachers, sharpen your hearts and you will get a better tongue; Church, sharpen your hearts and you will get better ears. Come ready, expectantly, with straight backs and clear eyes. Ask God for bright services, and do not fail to get whatever you need. Really pray about this. God is able to give you some morsel to feed on if you scratch for it. Then tell the pastor what you’ve gotten. Be specific.

Can you imagine what would happen if you got a group of the complainers together and all of you listened like you were hearing Jesus Himself? Your present pastor might die in the pulpit (which is the quick solution to your problem). He may not catch on the first week, but after a short while, he will be praying and studying and preaching like lives depended on it. Unless he is completely comatose, he will respond to that. After all, he got into this business to help people. If you are getting something, he will load on a little more. I have almost never seen a God-called preacher act any differently. They are like Pavlov’s dog. Try it.

Copyright © 1993 Jim Elliff.
Permission granted for reproduction in exact form. All other uses require written permission.
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