As long as there are sermons, there will be bad sermons. And I hate preaching a bad sermon.

I hate it because preaching is such a vulnerable activity. If I lead a meeting poorly or have a bad counseling session, it's known only by a limited number of people. A bad sermon is like a car wreck—everyone slows down to see what happened. You don't want to seem callous, but it's irresistible.

I hate it because there's no one and no thing to blame. If a tennis player hits a bad shot, he always looks at his racquet, as if it's the racquet's fault, as if the string tension had suddenly and mysteriously changed. If I preach a bad sermon, what am I going to look at—the Bible?

I hate it because at our church we usually do four services on a weekend, and after the first one is over, I know I have to go through it three more times, bad sermon or not.

I hate it because of what's at stake. When preaching is done right, it can change lives. When it's ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, join now for free and get complete access.