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 done badly, my ...1