Bored of Preaching

I am speaking at the St. Michael’s Liturgical Conference next week in Fort Wayne.  In sort of typical Peperkorn fashion, I’m working on about three different papers all at once for this.  The one that I believe is going to land is going on the working title of “Bored of Preaching? What to do with you Can’t Preach”.

To that end, I would appreciate your collective wisdom.  Am I the only one out there that gets bored of preaching?  What do you do when you are in a rut or stuck?

I think this is a very common problem with pastors.  I don’t know if it is more common for those who use the historic lectionary or not, but the temptation is certainly there.  When you’ve preached the same text 5, 10, 20 or more times, it is easy to come to the conclusion that you have said it all.  This, of course, is not the case, but it is easy to think that way.

So what do you do?  Do you have typical things that you do to get yourself out of the rut, or is each time different?  Talk to me.


5 thoughts on “Bored of Preaching

  1. I wouldn’t say I get bored – but I am sometimes paralyzed by the thought that I will be boring. I also am sometimes spiritually “drained” such that the thought of preaching makes me utterly hopeless. FWIW.

  2. When I was preaching the same sermon three times on Sunday it could get a little tedious. But now that I get to preach maybe once per month (if I’m lucky), boredom doesn’t come into play.

  3. I don’t get bored, but sometimes stuck.

    The best solution I have found? Take smaller bites.

    Instead of trying to preach the whole pericope, or even a section of it, try one sentence.

    Plus, I preach only on the Gospel reading. Epistles are like prewritten sermons and preach themselves (perhaps lending to the boredom). The Old Testament readings tempt me to parable-ize everything. The words of Christ always require the hard work of proclamation.

    Bring your own struggles with the text into the pulpit with you and lay them out for the hearers. Be honest. And, get to the Cross. If necessary, drag yourself and your hearers there kicking and screaming. Remember, the sermon isn’t over until Jesus is dead for three days. Get him out of the grave, and onto the altar, and then stop talking.

    Finally, stop trying to be interesting. Focus on Jesus, he’s interesting enough.

    And, remember, you wouldn’t be bored if you knew there was a Roman platoon outside waiting to haul you off to jail. Preach like there is.


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