Serving Nothing But Desert

icecreamSome preachers only serve desert. They end up “shouting about nothing.” You know the experience. You have gone to church to hear a word from the Lord and you are shouting. The people are shouting. And then you go home and can’t bring to mind what the preacher was talking about. Assuming you paid attention, that preacher might have been simply serving desert.

What is insidious about this subtle error is that the people leave thinking that they are prepared and ready for the next week, but they are instead not ready for any challenges that they confront. They shout in church, but that “shout” doesn’t translate to the real world.

This kind of preaching is really just entertainment. It contributes to the belief that church is just irrelevant to daily living. Truth be told, this kind of preaching is irrelevant. It doesn’t inform the mind. It doesn’t challenge our assumptions. It doesn’t confront the status quo. No it simply is happy looking at a congregation yell about nothing.

This is really a serious problem because this is a great temptation to preachers. Some know how to work up a congregation. But we as preachers must never fall for this temptation to get a “cheap shout.” Put in your time, work at it, and let the people shout about the full meal. Don’t fill them up on desert so that they will lose their appetite for the whole meal.

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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.

Posted in Preaching

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Revised Common Lectionary
5th Sunday of Lent (February 26, 2017)
  • OT: Ezekiel 37:1-14
  • Psalm: Psalm 130
  • Epistle: Romans 8:6-11
  • Gospel: John 11:1-45
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