Ever write a message or talk that even you suspected was boring?
That’s exactly where I found myself this week.
I’d outlined my message for our current series weeks ago, but when I went back into it six days before delivery, I realized I’d written a basically boring sermon on a fundamentally exciting subject.
What’s worse, it moved me into one of the worst cases of writer’s block I’ve had in years.
I worked at the message day after day but I just couldn’t make it interesting, despite having a fascinating subject (heaven).
Don’t get me wrong. As a preacher and Christian, I’m the first to tell you God’s Word is never boring. But sometimes we preachers make it boring. That’s exactly where I was heading this Sunday.
I kept tweaking the message for a few days with little success. I still found it…boring. And preachers, if you’re bored by your message, it’s a guarantee your audience will be as well.
How did I get through it? Well, I dug out everything I know about beating writer’s block and solving the problem of boring writing.
It worked…I think. You only ever really find out on Sunday. But I’m no longer bored by my message. In fact, I’m excited to preach it.
Almost every communicator I know has been there…so I thought I’d share my seven best tips on beating writer’s block and eliminating boring sermons.
1. Find the tension
If a sermon or piece of writing comes off as boring, it’s often because it lacks tension.
As much as we all dislike tension personally, without the tension, there is no story.
Think of the universal plot line for every story/book/movie you’ve ever loved.
It’s NOT this:
Good thing happens.
Another good thing happens.
Then lots of good things happen forever.
As much as we wish our lives were tension-free, there’s actually no story in that. You’d never watch a movie without tension.
Instead, the universal plot line people come back to again and again is:
Things are good.