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Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

DESCRIPTION: Pastor preaching.  Televisions featuring basketball and an NCAA bracket on the wall behind him. CAPTION: THE SERMON TITLED "MARCH MADNESS HERE TODAY, NOW IN HD" WAS A HUGE HITIn advance of the upcoming Homiletics Festival (May 14-18) here in Atlanta, I thought I would collect our top ten pet peeves from preachers and the sermons they preach.  (The thought is that if we can get all of our gripes out at once, maybe it will be a) therapeutic and b) actually drum some sense into those of us slated with “bringing the Word” each Sunday. Send your pet peeves in and we’ll vote on which ones make the list.  In the meantime, I’ll start us off:

– “The Tone” assumed when taking the pulpit, distinguished by a dip in emphasis on the last part of a sentence or concluding syllables.  It usually produces more nodding heads (with the onset of sleep) and gives the overall impression of an auctioneer selling old furniture and used car parts…

– the weekly reference to sports, usually slipped in as filler and to assure insecure preachers that something they said generated some excitement or will be remembered at lunch…

– the senior pastor’s latest fad of interest (dieting and working out are often big ones) invoked as a kind of Pauline, “imitate me” moment…

– the Word of God just read becomes support for the latest insights from the self-help world…

– the three paragraphs of fluffy exegesis and insertion of fancy Greek words that let a preacher show off all she learned in seminary (or the fact that she knows how to read a Bible commentary)…

– what I’m calling the “Sarah Palin Principle”: just look pretty or sound dynamic and charismatic- maybe even wow the folks in the pews by your ability to preach without notes- and then it doesn’t really matter what you say…

– the “Good News” equals “I can make myself a better person” by voting Democrat or Republican, coming to the next mission committee meeting and serving at the soup kitchen…

Got a pet peeve?  Leave it here or send it my way (kristinarobbdover@gmail.com) and we’ll add it to the list for a vote!  If you’re too spiritual for whinging and are instead looking for some real sermons that actually work, you might want to check out the Episcopal Church’s helpful online collection: http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/stw/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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