Refusing to Serve Dessert

saladplateWhen I talk about whooping or celebration, some preachers take exception to the idea that we should spend time on such things. They argue that we should just get up there and preach the truth and not worry about the emotional side of things.

Some of these preachers are not consistent in their problems with elements of preaching style. They attack whooping, but they use alliteration. They may have a problem with squalling, but they use runs. They seem to attack some elements, but are not consistent. These preachers should seek to understand why they are comfortable with allowing some forms but not other forms of spice in their sermons.

However, there are some preachers who are very consistent in their attacks on any kind of additives to a sermon that they think might lead away from the intellectual understanding of the sermon. Many of these preach sermons that are meant to be religious lectures. The people should bring their notebook handy and take extensive notes. Application might be added on, but largely it is left as a “exercise for the hearer.”

In contrast, the preacher who serves desert recognizes that we preach to more than just the head. We definitely need to break down intellectual truth, but we also must preach in such a way that we can address the whole being. We work with the spirit to allow the people to both experience and remember the truths. We do that by having a celebrative conclusion that is related to the points in the sermon. When we do that, the people remember and experience the power of the messages and are more likely to live them in their daily lives.

We don’t change the truth to make it palatable, we make the truth understandable to heart, mind, and spirit, by addressing all aspects in our sermons. And we add that celebration to make sure that all of this happens. So don’t forget the desert, or your people might miss the meal!

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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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