MMQB the sermon

I am doing some Monday morning quarterback thoughts about my sermon from yesterday. I preached on Mark 10:23-31.

About 2/3 of the way through preaching, I experienced a worry that my sermon was boring. I worked on the sermon through the week and I preached it to myself Sunday morning. Yet still it was not until preaching the sermon in front of the congregation that I realized that the sermon was not very engaging, interesting or relevant to the lives of my listeners.

I am sure I had some hesitancy even as I was preparing the sermon. I felt stuck on how to begin the sermon and found an opening illustration from a sermon by John MacArthur. I wonder if using someone else’s illustration made me struggle with my own connection to the Word.

The sermon was about how salvation is impossible for those who place their trust in the uncertainity of earthly riches but with God all things are possible.

Trust in earthly riches is bad, trust in Jesus is good. A simple contrast that I did not successfully connect with what people are going through in our community. I think it easily became a sermon listeners heard as about the other guy and not a concern for themselves.

Do other preachers have this worry while preaching? Do others worry in the middle of preaching that the sermon is a disappointment? I wonder if I should have just stopped and said, “Today this sermon is not very good, but thankfully the Holy Spirit works through the Word of God. Now we continue with the Prayer of the Church.”

By the way this is not a post filled with false humility designed to get compliments and encouragement. I know how I felt while preaching the sermon yesterday. I was disappointed. I don’t need to hear, “Pastor, it was not as bad as you imagine.”


3 thoughts on “MMQB the sermon

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  1. So I’m not a pastor, but if something is going badly when I teach, I see how much I have left. If it’s nearly done, I do finish it, even if it’s bad. If there is a long slog ahead, I will call an audible and just chuck it. I’ll come back to it another day in class. I have a smaller audience than a church so my advice may not apply.

  2. It happens to us all…and I just get through it and laugh! Then pray next week for more inspiration! This week I managed to get lost in my manuscript and consequently skipped three paragraphs and final ended it….:)

  3. I have been there. Once I audibled and probably made it worse. Looking back the manuscript wasn’t as bad as I thought. But if it is clear we have lost them…it seems either we continue as planned, or perhaps more mercifully bring it to a quicker end, hopefully speaking the gospel, without drawing too much attention to our failures. After all there may be someone who was tracking the same way you were early Sunday morning. Thanks for bringing this up. It’s good to reflect on.

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