Cloud of Witnesses

Bill had stopped coming to church. He came to my office one day to defend his absence and teach me a thing or two. He was a Christian, a garden-variety sinner, who was in a lot of pain. He complained that my sermons were boring.

"Your sermons suck," is what he actually said.

I admitted to Bill that my preaching has peaks and valleys and that lately I'd been working at about sea level. I proceeded to suggest that my sermons were not the problem.

Once I'd absorbed his initial blast of anger and started taking his heartache seriously, we made some headway. We talked about the importance of the means of grace in his life. It wasn't a sin to dislike my preaching, I said, but it might be deadly for him to cut himself off from the gospel, the sacraments, worship, and the fellowship of believers. It wasn't long before Bill was in church again, taking notes, on the good—and boring—sermons.

Lou also thinks my sermons are boring.

He expresses his feelings less colorfully, however. He falls ...

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