Home Pastors Articles for Pastors Boring Preaching Is a Crime! 7 Ways to Be Interesting

Boring Preaching Is a Crime! 7 Ways to Be Interesting

Make Eye Contact

Sounds basic, yet every week pastors stand before their congregations and read manuscripts or stare over the heads of the crowd. Make eye contact with as many individuals as possible all around the room. You’ll be amazed at the personal connection and unspoken response that takes place.

Do Something Visual

Slides can become an enemy of interesting rather quickly, but if used creatively, provide a visual enhancement, especially with a video illustration. Just remember these tips…

  • Use slides sparingly
  • Feature only the few biggest points
  • No bullets! Just one point on one slide.
  • Keep the graphics consistent, preferably the sermon series graphics.

Going visual doesn’t even require a screen. You can offer a prop or an object lesson as long as it isn’t cheesy, and as long as you’re using them to illustrate truth rather than impress people.

I’ve played Jenga (with the inevitable crash at the end) to illustrate our attempt to build a life on our own efforts. We’ve handed out puzzle pieces during a sermon about finding our right spot to serve in God’s family.

I remember Pastor Jason Pettus eating (and giving everyone in the room) a small pack of m&m’s once as he talked about having both a ministry and a mission. And I heard that message a decade and a half ago, testifying to how “sticky” his point was.

Be Real and Authentic

I try to find ways I might be speaking in a minister’s tone and I weed it out of my public speaking. When chatting with a neighbor, you don’t point like a dog with one leg in the air, rock back and forth on your feet with a ministerial bounce, or take three syllables to mention the name of JEE-UH-ZUSSS!!

How would you share your message with just one person in the back of the room? Do that. Not once have I ever had a casual coffee conversation and said the words, “I submit to you today that…this coffee is pretty strong.”

And being real and authentic goes much deeper, too. Many pastors are afraid of being authentic because they fear that people will walk away or lose respect based on the pastor’s weaknesses, or knowing too many details.

Here are three things to remember about real, authentic, good preaching…

You don’t have to be transparent with everyone about the details of your life—just a few close friends will do—but you can be authentic with everyone.

  1. The longer you lead without being authentic, the more you’ll begin to wonder who you really are. Inauthenticity always leads to burnout.
  2. Authenticity is a bridge builder. People draw nearer when we’re willing to be vulnerable.

Can being authentic get you in trouble? Yes. It got Jesus in trouble, often. But in the end, it’s always worth it.

Be as Honest as the Bible and as Compassionate as Jesus

Let me be clear—though I believe in being interesting, it’s most important to be biblical and forthright. You’re still fulfilling a prophetic role of forth-telling.

There seems to be a popular notion today among pastors that the more harsh a point is, the more biblical it must be. But we’re challenged to speak the truth in love, with a view toward redemption and restoration, not judgment and alienation. Our speech should be seasoned with grace.