My Problem with Sermons

Buzzword

New member
The older and/or more informed I become, the more trouble I have with the idea of the "sermon".

I understand and embrace the "worship" portion of church services, because it brings the congregation together in a communal experience of emotion and music.
But then instead of sending us on our way at the peak of that communal experience, we're jarred out of it to be lectured at as individuals for the remainder of the service (in some cases taking up half or 3/4 of the total service time).

This would be fine on its own, if structured like a college class, which focused only on the individual intellect, at a separate time and/or place from communal worship.
But jarring us out of our communal emotional experience just to be talked at, and then sending us out after THAT, makes the joys of the communal experience seem wasted and trod under.

Especially since a sermon, unlike a college lecture, doesn't even allow anyone being lectured to to raise a hand and ask questions.
A sermon is the antithesis of a conversation, and too many pastors use the captivity of their audiences to spew some truly awful drivel.

What confuses me is that most churches HAVE a separate activity to invoke the individual intellect.
It usually happens pre-service in Sunday School classes, or throughout the week in small-group Bible studies or discussion groups.
Why can't that be enough?

Why do we still need the authority figure from on high passing supposedly-irrefutable wisdom down to us lowly sheep?
Especially in our current age of unlimited information.
We understand more about the universe and the human body and mind than ever before.
We should be having the best conversations about God and spirituality in the history of humanity!

Not sitting quietly and pretending to listen to someone else talk at us while drawing or playing on our phones.
 

Selaphiel

New member
As a soon to be minister myself and someone who then will hold sermons:

There is no doubt that there are a whole lot of bad sermons out there. The art of writings sermons is actually its own field of study within theology, called homiletics. A sermon that is just a talking down to the parishioners in the form of instruction or lecturing of the sheep as you put it is a sad form of sermon. But throwing out the sermon itself would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. There are good ways of doing sermons as well. Good sermons captivates the listener, evokes feelings, questions and experiences. A good preacher wanders in the readings with the listener, and doesn't necessarily present "the answer" to it, but surprises and opens up questions and possible perspectives. Although sometimes, a preacher should challenge and instruct as well, sometimes prophetic speech is called for, but I believe there are good ways of doing this and bad.

Why should one do it? Well, it isn't necessarily just one. There are cases of lay preachers as well. But a minister with a good theological education is trained to view these texts from historical, philosophical and theological perspectives. The trick is not to use this to speak down to people, but offer them perspectives and converse with the parishioners. A good sermon should be something the parishioners wants to talk about after the mass, and a good minister should be in those conversations as a conversation partner.
 

Nick M

Black Rifles Matter
LIFETIME MEMBER
Hall of Fame
I think the problem is those that use it as way to collect a 10% or higher tax from the members. Those are the same people that put circumcision with the Body in a blender and hit puree.
 
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glorydaz

New member
The older and/or more informed I become, the more trouble I have with the idea of the "sermon".

I understand and embrace the "worship" portion of church services, because it brings the congregation together in a communal experience of emotion and music.
But then instead of sending us on our way at the peak of that communal experience, we're jarred out of it to be lectured at as individuals for the remainder of the service (in some cases taking up half or 3/4 of the total service time).

This would be fine on its own, if structured like a college class, which focused only on the individual intellect, at a separate time and/or place from communal worship.
But jarring us out of our communal emotional experience just to be talked at, and then sending us out after THAT, makes the joys of the communal experience seem wasted and trod under.

Especially since a sermon, unlike a college lecture, doesn't even allow anyone being lectured to to raise a hand and ask questions.
A sermon is the antithesis of a conversation, and too many pastors use the captivity of their audiences to spew some truly awful drivel.

What confuses me is that most churches HAVE a separate activity to invoke the individual intellect.
It usually happens pre-service in Sunday School classes, or throughout the week in small-group Bible studies or discussion groups.
Why can't that be enough?

Why do we still need the authority figure from on high passing supposedly-irrefutable wisdom down to us lowly sheep?
Especially in our current age of unlimited information.
We understand more about the universe and the human body and mind than ever before.
We should be having the best conversations about God and spirituality in the history of humanity!

Not sitting quietly and pretending to listen to someone else talk at us while drawing or playing on our phones.

That's why I like New Testament style assemblies. They are not one man led, so different elders and any brother with something to share can get up. I was in a fellowship in Bend for years and when we had to move around, we would find like minded folks who gathered in a home....sometimes ours. I find it hard to attend regular church services for very long because so much is missed when different members of the body have to sit silent while one man does all the speaking. We also would just start singing when there seemed to be a lull...or call out a number from the hymnal.
 

glorydaz

New member
I think the problem is those that use it as way to collect a 10% or higher tax from the members. Those are the same people that through circumcision with the Body in a blender and hit puree.

I prefer the places where there is a can in the back of the room for free will offerings...no plate is passed around.
 

fzappa13

New member
The older and/or more informed I become, the more trouble I have with the idea of the "sermon".

I understand and embrace the "worship" portion of church services, because it brings the congregation together in a communal experience of emotion and music.
But then instead of sending us on our way at the peak of that communal experience, we're jarred out of it to be lectured at as individuals for the remainder of the service (in some cases taking up half or 3/4 of the total service time).

This would be fine on its own, if structured like a college class, which focused only on the individual intellect, at a separate time and/or place from communal worship.
But jarring us out of our communal emotional experience just to be talked at, and then sending us out after THAT, makes the joys of the communal experience seem wasted and trod under.

Especially since a sermon, unlike a college lecture, doesn't even allow anyone being lectured to to raise a hand and ask questions.
A sermon is the antithesis of a conversation, and too many pastors use the captivity of their audiences to spew some truly awful drivel.

What confuses me is that most churches HAVE a separate activity to invoke the individual intellect.
It usually happens pre-service in Sunday School classes, or throughout the week in small-group Bible studies or discussion groups.
Why can't that be enough?

Why do we still need the authority figure from on high passing supposedly-irrefutable wisdom down to us lowly sheep?
Especially in our current age of unlimited information.
We understand more about the universe and the human body and mind than ever before.
We should be having the best conversations about God and spirituality in the history of humanity!

Not sitting quietly and pretending to listen to someone else talk at us while drawing or playing on our phones.

I understand how you feel and have had similar feelings as well. It seems to be human nature to demand of God leaders ("Give us a king" ring a bell?). In the absence of The Christ we set up these mini-christs and when they fall short of perfection we call our faith into question not understanding that our faith was misplaced.

The book of Acts speaks of a body of believers that met to encourage each other and share what each had to share. This has mutated into something else entirely. I think part of it was summed up well by a former poster here named Behira, a Messianic Jew, who opined that the Protestants didn't protest enough. Said another way, not all Catholic innovations were purged from the Christian faith by Martin Luther and I suspect the inclination to anoint others a proxy for Christ is one of those.
 

Interplanner

New member
The older and/or more informed I become, the more trouble I have with the idea of the "sermon".

I understand and embrace the "worship" portion of church services, because it brings the congregation together in a communal experience of emotion and music.
But then instead of sending us on our way at the peak of that communal experience, we're jarred out of it to be lectured at as individuals for the remainder of the service (in some cases taking up half or 3/4 of the total service time).

This would be fine on its own, if structured like a college class, which focused only on the individual intellect, at a separate time and/or place from communal worship.
But jarring us out of our communal emotional experience just to be talked at, and then sending us out after THAT, makes the joys of the communal experience seem wasted and trod under.

Especially since a sermon, unlike a college lecture, doesn't even allow anyone being lectured to to raise a hand and ask questions.
A sermon is the antithesis of a conversation, and too many pastors use the captivity of their audiences to spew some truly awful drivel.

What confuses me is that most churches HAVE a separate activity to invoke the individual intellect.
It usually happens pre-service in Sunday School classes, or throughout the week in small-group Bible studies or discussion groups.
Why can't that be enough?

Why do we still need the authority figure from on high passing supposedly-irrefutable wisdom down to us lowly sheep?
Especially in our current age of unlimited information.
We understand more about the universe and the human body and mind than ever before.
We should be having the best conversations about God and spirituality in the history of humanity!

Not sitting quietly and pretending to listen to someone else talk at us while drawing or playing on our phones.



All good questions. Try to find creative ways for your pastor/teacher to field open-ended questions. It might help to sit down with him and say, 'good communication never puts out more than 2-3 points without stopping and listening. Sometimes you find out you're not even tracking what the person is saying until the 3rd round of questions.' This avoids talking 'past each other.'

Once in a while there is a very good, complete speaker who is worth sitting through. But he will truly move your brain and spirit. If he's good you won't want him to stop.

One church near me has a great recording. "Hello this is ____ church. We worship at 10am each Sunday. At 11, we have our question and answer period." I think it is great that is featured right on the phone recording!

Also try to explain 'delegating' to him. The problem may not be the material he is covering, but that HE is the one covering it. He should have another older member/believer answer a question because it gives that person practice, exposure, etc. And you'll hear it all a new way.
 

Totton Linnet

New member
Silver Subscriber
....if there is anointing I have sat for hours and wished the sermon would never end.


I would have loved to sit in a C.H.Spurgeon meeting.......mind he only preached for 45 minutes a time.
 

patrick jane

BANNED
Banned
The older and/or more informed I become, the more trouble I have with the idea of the "sermon".

I understand and embrace the "worship" portion of church services, because it brings the congregation together in a communal experience of emotion and music.
But then instead of sending us on our way at the peak of that communal experience, we're jarred out of it to be lectured at as individuals for the remainder of the service (in some cases taking up half or 3/4 of the total service time).

This would be fine on its own, if structured like a college class, which focused only on the individual intellect, at a separate time and/or place from communal worship.
But jarring us out of our communal emotional experience just to be talked at, and then sending us out after THAT, makes the joys of the communal experience seem wasted and trod under.

Especially since a sermon, unlike a college lecture, doesn't even allow anyone being lectured to to raise a hand and ask questions.
A sermon is the antithesis of a conversation, and too many pastors use the captivity of their audiences to spew some truly awful drivel.

What confuses me is that most churches HAVE a separate activity to invoke the individual intellect.
It usually happens pre-service in Sunday School classes, or throughout the week in small-group Bible studies or discussion groups.
Why can't that be enough?

Why do we still need the authority figure from on high passing supposedly-irrefutable wisdom down to us lowly sheep?
Especially in our current age of unlimited information.
We understand more about the universe and the human body and mind than ever before.
We should be having the best conversations about God and spirituality in the history of humanity!

Not sitting quietly and pretending to listen to someone else talk at us while drawing or playing on our phones.


i went to a refreshing service a week ago, it was awesome because he filled in, is a worship pastor/singer and he didn't repeat each point 6 different ways, with 3 being the same.

when preachers talk to the congregation like we're deaf and in 1st grade by repeating phrases and sentences, the message is cut short; ineffective - JMO
 

glorydaz

New member
....if there is anointing I have sat for hours and wished the sermon would never end.


I would have loved to sit in a C.H.Spurgeon meeting.......mind he only preached for 45 minutes a time.

I hear ya. We had one old guy who preached on Gideon that had our total attention. At one point he took a small child from it's mother's arms and cradled it as the Lord cradles us.....some of us moms were in tears and some of us could barely keep from busting out laughing because the child was one who normally would have been afraid but was mesmerized by the old guy's soft and tender voice. It was a sermon I will never forget...though it was nearly 40 years ago now.
 

Danoh

New member
For me, it depends on the Pastor/Teacher's depth of understanding. Personally, I have no issue at all with sitting for whatever length of time I find reasonable with the right pastor/teacher. And I determine the right length of time by the right pastor/teacher.

Some people bore you just past "Good morning."

Lol, there first two words, already a warning.

Others leave you wanting more, and yet so filled.

As they too by their own message are thrilled.

The sharper the mind, the less I mind.

This is a personal preference, I find.

Some prefer less talk, more song.

Others think that's wrong.

Lol, seems we never get along...
 

Danoh

New member
I prefer expository preaching, to singing.

Likewise.

The song of spiritual eyes,

Sound doctrine is ever wise.

The emotional high will come and go,

Weeks later the doctrine, not so.

Though the two can be combined,

Its not something you often find.

So, yeah, I'll take the preaching,

Nothing like sound teaching.
 
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