Don’t Apologize for the Message

Teresa Fry Brown has written up notes to a lecture delivered by Charles Adams. These notes can be found on page 164 and 165 of her book Weary Throats and New Songs. How to deliver sermons was the subject of the lecture. The second point that Brown brought out was to “never apologize for the sermon.”

Many congregants have heard sermons littered with apologies for the content of the message. Brown notes a couple of common apologies. Sometimes preachers will say, “I know you don’t want to hear this but….” before saying something that the preacher anticipates will cause opposition in the congregation. Another statement often spoken by preachers guilty of this infraction is “I’m sorry but…”

The preacher has been given a word from God to speak to the particular people at the particular place. If the preacher drops apologies into the word it will bing into question the origin of the message. You have done the exegesis, you have prayfully constructed the sermon. The Spirit has been invovled in the whole process. At that point it is time to stand up and unapologetically preach the message. Certainly you will make mistakes, but don’t undercut the whole message by apologizing for what God has God has given you to preach.

Sherman Haywood Cox II

Vanderbilt Trained Minister (MDiv), Univ. of Alabama Trained Software Developer (MS), Author, Blogger (, Husband, Son, Brother, Father.

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