Two Ways To Mess Up A Sermon

As a frequent sermon-giver, sometimes even in church, I do a lot of thinking about presentation. There are two extremes I can go to in my sermons: hyper-application or hyper-fact giving.

Hyper-application occurs when I give an application for just about every verse I deal with. By the end all the applications sort of run together and people leave with the three ways to make their marriage more love-filled with the six steps to real love allowing them to implement the four steps to financial responsibility allowing them to take on the 8 reasons to give away your money now. In the end, no one knows what happened.

Hyper-fact giving occurs when I list out the seven ways this Hebrew word can be used and the 13 verses this word shows up in and the four different words the Greek uses to translate the word leading us to the eight main differences in Greek/Hebrew translation. In the end everyone knows what happened–nothing.

I think both are immense time wasters, if not dangerous. Telling people exactly what to do now that you’ve heard this verse removes any struggling a person might need to do with that verse. “OK, I’ll just do what he said.”

Giving so many facts leads to knowledge without love. It leads to people feeling smarter but not having gotten anywhere spiritually. Most fact-giving sermons are light on application, usually the application is tacked on and makes little sense.

There’s a balance in there. Facts and applications are both necessary. Extremes are to be avoided. Good luck with that.

2 thoughts on “Two Ways To Mess Up A Sermon”

  1. Nope, that’s just my new deodorant, Old Spice High Enurance Pure Sport. Good stuff though.

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