Yesterday my wife had to spend the day in the hospital having blood taken every hour. So I received regular updates by text message (SMS). She was listening to some CDs she’d been sent. Teaching on the subject of the family. I received a sort of running commentary by text message. The bottom line? This preacher had taken a long time to say nothing. Sort of a safari through Scripture making passing observations about families in the Bible (“Oh look! There’s another one!”). A great opportunity, but he’d essentially just filled time.
I am not one to spend hours trying to fix a broken pipe. I tend to think that if I can afford to have someone else do the work, then I will, because my time is also worth something (and because I’m rubbish at fixing things and will end up paying anyway!) If I spend four hours to save fifty pounds ($75), have I really saved any money? Likewise, when we are preaching, we are asking people to sit and listen to us for 30 minutes, 45 minutes, however long you preach. Please don’t just fill time. Say something. Study the text until you grasp it, until it grasps you, then say the text’s something.
Perhaps it would be a good idea to scan over this Sunday’s message once it is ready to roll out. Is there any filler? Is there any pointless meandering? Is there any “saying something and nothing?” Why is that line there? And that paragraph? What about that illustration? In the past I wrote a post entitled “Please only powerpoint on purpose.” I suppose I could steal my own line to conclude this post – please only produce preaching prose on purpose.