My sixth-grade sex ed teacher held up a worksheet and apologized: “I know this is sort of unromantic.” Books on preaching can leave us similarly cold.
People are surrounded by dehumanizing forces and discouraging lies. Preachers should name these—and replace them with wearable forms of truth.
Ten years ago, I studied readers of the then popular Left Behind series of Christian apocalyptic novels. If I conducted that study today, I would potentially have access to far more objective data about readers than I did. How quickly do they read? Where do they stop reading? What passages do they mark? Do they write notes in the margins? E-books are providing companies with the opportunity for all of this information and more about people who use e-readers like the Nook and Kindle.
I knew my worst sermon was going to be terrible before I preached it. I want to hold myself to a higher standard, and James Howell's book offers the inspiration to get me there.
Much of the snickering about boring sermons comes not because we expect so little but because we have hoped for so much. A hunger persists for a word from the Lord—without which we are left to our boring selves.