The Pulpit is no Place for Busywork – Say Something!

You ever been on a job where looking busy was more important than actually accomplishing anything? Many of us at times have succumbed to the temptation to simply look like we were doing something rather than actually doing something. Those of us in the internet world know about spending time on facebook or checking our email versus actually writing the next article and/or recording the next audio. Busywork is a codeword for working but doing nothing. It is a hidden waste of time in that you are doing something, but you accomplish nothing.

Peter Mead’s Take on the Subject


Over at the Biblical Preaching website, Peter Mead gives the story of a preacher who took a lot of time to say nothing. He wrote:

The bottom line? This preacher had taken a long time to say nothing. Sort of a safari through Scripture making passing observations about families in the Bible (“Oh look! There’s another one!”). A great opportunity, but he’d essentially just filled time.

Here was a preacher who had nothing to say, and yet he still decided to get up there and say nothing. What a tragedy. The people have come needing a word of hope and truth and have received a preacher’s busywork. Now I do not think this preacher was a preacher in the African American tradition, but if it were, this preacher may have simply tacked on a whoop at the end or started shouting and left the people with an empty high.

Make Sure You Are Saying Something

This weekend you are to preach. Read over your sermon, make sure you are saying something worthy of the name Christian Preacher. Make sure that the bread of life comes warm from the kitchen of heaven. Never fall into the trap of simply “being there” because the pulpit is no place for mere “busywork.”

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Sherman Haywood Cox II

Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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john nelson - June 12, 2009 Reply

Unfortunately, I have been in attendance on more than one occasion when preachers have gotten up to preach without anything of substance to say. It is an extreme travesty when folks who proclaim the call of God of their life to preach are discovered to be no more than a tinkling cymbal and sounding brass. We are in desperate need of the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ; and every opportunity that is squandered away by someone who isn’t prepared to deliver that Word is an opportunity for the devil to continue his reign of terror in a person’s life or for a person not to experience the reality of God and His love. We must have a great honor for the calling of God as His ministers to His folk.

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