4. Preacher Fatigue. After a while your listeners might just get tired of hearing you. You may try to vary what you do, but you will always be you and that creates some limitations for your preaching. Don’t be afraid to share your pulpit. Develop other preachers, invite other local pastors, give yourself a break and your listeners too.
5. Illustration Fatigue. One way we can be predictable is in the use of illustrations. Do you often reference certain sports, or your own family, or the Napoleonic Wars? Beware of tiring listeners with something that doesn’t mean as much to them as it does to you. Some preachers default to the same category of illustration. Others default to a collection of specific illustrations. I’m feeling drained just describing it!
6. Vulnerability Fatigue. Some of us don’t share enough vulnerability in our preaching. But some of us share too much and too often. When listeners start to feel like they are the counsellors for your self-disclosure, they will grow tired of hearing about your constant struggles. Do be vulnerable. Don’t be constantly sharing your struggles. Remember that the spotlight in your preaching is not on you.
7. Contagious Fatigue. If you are preaching fatigued, then it will be infectious. Sometimes you can’t avoid being up all night with a child or a church member in crisis. Be careful that you don’t get into a rhythm of preaching fatigued. If your preparations are draining you, maybe you need to revisit your preparation schedule. Perhaps you don’t get enough sleep, or exercise, or your sugary snacks while you work on the sermon mean you preach in a weekly sugar low? Be careful that you don’t simply preach tired. Listeners will pick up on your lack of energy, or your extra edginess.
Tomorrow we’ll finish the list, but feel free to add any more at any time!