10 WAYS TO PUT SOMEONE ASLEEP DURING THE SERMON

If I was wanting to bore someone to death or put them to sleep during the sermon, here are a few things I might try:

  1. Use big words that no one uses in everyday life.
  2. Don’t use humor.
  3. Don’t make any life applications.
  4. Don’t challenge me or encourage me.
  5. Quote tons of scripture and don’t tell any stories.
  6. Preach about the Hittites, Perizzites or Jebusites instead of something relevant today.
  7. Be long winded. No one really has anything else to do anyway.
  8. Don’t ever use visual stimulation like PowerPoint or object lessons.
  9. Use half your sermon to explain how to translate a word from the original Greek.
  10. Only beat me up, never build me up.

Get the idea? Every one’s time is valuable. If I want people to come back, I’d better give them something they can use.

So, did I forget any? Agree or disagree with my list?


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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
34 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Mommysmart says:

    Don’t forget that speaking in a monotone voice is a bit hypnotic, too. Rocky has that struggle with his voice in class. He says that he looks out at the sea of faces and sees a lot of “shut eyed, open mouth breathers”. He needs to take lessons from you and get that preacher enthusiasm in his voice.

    P.S. Congrats, what an honor. I’m proud for you.

  2. Trey Morgan says:

    I’m sure Rocky’s class would love to have him “preach” to them. ha. I can just see him up there blowing and going.

    PS- Thanks. Humbling, embarassing and cool, all at the same time.

  3. nb says:

    Mumble while you speak so everyone hears only about every third word.

  4. nb says:

    Stand in one spot and never move, read your sermon word for word from the paper in front of you and don’t make eye contact with anyone.

    Monica, please share more about the congrats.

  5. Neva says:

    Trey,
    Ned has a book called “101 Things to Do During a Boring Sermon” very funny.
    And. . .we knew a preacher who preached the same exact sermon three weeks in a row–the third time, he said I know I preached this before but obviously yall didn’t get it the other two times.
    And.. . I think people will listen and enjoy a boring preacher if he is an amazing minister—they can hear his heart on Sunday when they have seen it all week long.
    Just a thought.
    Thank you for your prayers on the Valero-McKee plant. One of our young men was pretty shaken up.
    Peace
    Neva

  6. john dobbs says:

    what award? what did I miss?

  7. Messianic Gentile says:

    My thought is:

    Preacher REVOLUTION to REVOLUTIONARIES. It is a message and a group both, that do not sleep. Unless you have been at it all night long like Paul with Eutychus. But such is the way of Revolution, Church in the night by candelite!

    It is preaching the same old to the same old that is sleepy.

    Actually, to play devil’s advocate, Dad tells about how when he was a boy, the preacher once announced that next Sunday he would preach on particular people’s personal sins and would NAME NAMES! Talk about beating someone up!… He was terrified about going back the next week, but when he got there, he was stunned by the huge crowd the threat had compelled to come in.

    Go figure.

    Many blessings…

  8. Trey Morgan says:

    NB … only reading your notes and never looking up. Never thought of that one. Good thinking. I can’t believe Neva has a book called 101 ways to make your sermon boring. I guess I’ll scratch that one off my list of “books to write.”

    John … you didn’t miss a thing, buddy!

    As for MG … your dad was a brave man. Naming names? Cool.

  9. Mommysmart says:

    NB and John,

    Come over to my blog and I’ll explain (look in the top right corner)about the congrats. I don’t want to totally embarass Trey.

    Monica

  10. nb says:

    Thanks for the clarification Monica.I’m enjoying reading your blog also.

    Sounds like they made an excellent choice Trey. Congratulations!

  11. Lisa says:

    Monica, I was just coming back over to let everyone know they could find out about Trey at your blog. That’s cool that you have that news there.

    WAY TO GO, Trey!! What an honor!

  12. Trey Morgan says:

    Thanks NB & Lisa :) You’re too kind.

    Now back to the discussion. Lisa, I know you never heard your dad preach a boring sermon, for the same reason my wife says I’ve never preached a boring sermon. It’s a family thing. BUT … do you have any thoughts on the subject?

  13. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites, or Gergushites would claim their example doesn’t matter. But then again, “preaching about” them doesn’t mean preaching a boring lesson, does it? It seems that those accounts also fit within 2 Tim. 3:16-17, don’t they? Are they less inspired? Of course not–I’m sure you’re simply pointing out that preachers should show how these accounts ARE relevant.

  14. Mommysmart says:

    Hey I just thought of another one that would probably put me to sleep. How about a sermon of reading geneaology.

    Example: And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died…

    Good stuff, but not the most interesting. ZZZZZ

  15. Brian Nicklaus says:

    you nailed it, trey.
    good thoughts and I might print it out and keep it nearby.

    congrats on being honored. i hope my teasing was appropriate on lisa’s blog

    as for lists and geneologies, john piper has one of the most beautiful sermons I ever read about Romans 16, you can find it at his website.

    don’t under-estimate the significance of geneologies. I have preached on Jesus’ family, pointing out how dysfuncational his family tree was.

    The OT geneologies might be about giving honor to whom honor is due, like all the families who returned from exile to rebuild the temple/city.

  16. Trey Morgan says:

    I’m trying hard to remember, but someone once said, “Only a preacher would find a sermon on the Hititties interesting.”

    May have been in a book I read by Harry Emerson Fosdick.

  17. Trey Morgan says:

    Brian … thanks for the recommended sermon. I’ll stop by and check it out.

  18. bruce says:

    Trey,
    Congrats on being the man of the year! Awesome honor!

    I agree with the thoughts you have Trey. I am trying to remember how Jesus preached or taught. It seems we are encouraged to be like Jesus in every way, including preaching.

  19. Trey Morgan says:

    Bruce … my favorite brother. I’m so glad you’ve decided to add your wisdom to the blogger family.

    You are one of my favorite preachers!

  20. Anonymous says:

    what bothers me and puts me to sleep is when the pastor starts saying after this…. this is the last thing i have to say and i will be done; 15 minute later he has said about 20 times now this is the last thing i have to say. As soon as he says that i give him no more than 5 minutes to wrap things up.

    ray

  21. Anonymous says:

    Boring sermons, 11. Talk down to me like I am incapable of understanding the scriptures

    Gwen

  22. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Trey,

    I am sure the quote is from Fosdick. It goes something like “Only a preacher would come to church excited to find out what happened to the Jebusites”. But I will keep it brief so I am not boring.

    James

    Anything to do with fundraising not only bores me but makes my skin crawl. Don’t tell my in-laws. Since I said this, James’ next ministry will probably be in fundraising.

    Kathy

  23. Gallagher says:

    Good thoughts. I got a kick out of reading through each one. I would add one regarding preaching without boldness.

    Many times we emphasize the reading the of “pastoral epistles” when we discuss the role and characteristics, but what about Acts. Reading through Acts I have found the apostles presenting the word of God boldly and without fear.

    Good thoughts.

  24. Trey Morgan says:

    James … that’s the quote. You found it. And, Kathy … you made me LAUGH! Fundraising. I’m telling your in-laws. kidding

    Gallagher … I hear you loud and clear on that one. Good point.

  25. Stoned-Campbell Disciple says:

    Hey I like Hittites and Jebusites and Perizites!!! :-)

    Thanks for coming by my blog. And bigger thanks for letting me know you did.

    I do hope you will come by more in the future.

    Now that I know of you I will come by too.

    Shalom,
    Bobby Valentine
    Tucson, AZ
    http://stoned-campbelldisciple.blogspot.com/

  26. Lisa says:

    Okay, well, since you put me on the spot, I guess I have to answer. Rest assured, I’ve heard a boring sermon or two … just not from my Dad. :) Actually, I probably did find his sermons boring pre-high school. Then when I matured, heard other preachers, etc., I realized how good he was. I guess I’m a bit sensitive about how picky people can be with their preacher’s preaching. So I’m not going to rant & rave here, or else I’d probably be blocked from commenting again. :) I would say my biggest complaint about preaching is when he seems to be throwing out the credentials of someone he knows, “Doctor so-&-so from such-&-such university, who also has a PhD in yadda-yadda, was having lunch with me one day and we were discussing …” and ends up rambling about nothing related at all to the Bible study at hand or anything the audience would be interested in. Anytime a preacher says something and I’m left thinking, “Huh? Why did you think that was relevant to your sermon?” I would say that’s pretty annoying. I don’t know how to rephrase that so it would fit tidily on your list, though. :)

  27. Mommysmart says:

    Lisa,
    That is hilarious. I know lots of others (who aren’t preachers) who like to name drop. I love the way that you described it. I may have to steal that description. Funny stuff.
    Monica

  28. Trey Morgan says:

    Lisa … I like the way you put it. I actually had breakfast last week with George W.

    Poor Lea has had to sit through nothing by “Trey” sermons. And it doesn’t matter how bad or good I do, she always tells me, “that was your best one yet.”

    Pretty sweet hua?

  29. JP Manzi says:

    They are all good, especially the added one of speaking in a monotone voice. I have been there and experienced it and am sometimes curious of how they have been preaching as long as they have.

  30. Paula Harrington says:

    Oh WOW! I get to be number 30 on Trey’s site!!

    Boring preachers?? Is there such a thing? I may have heard one or two in my time. Wish I would had your list.

    On a sadder note: There goes my blog on the Hittites, Perizziets and Jebusites…Sigh.. :)

  31. Trey Morgan says:

    Paula … You may be the only one that could make them interesting!

  32. EandJTrygg says:

    Hello from Oklahoma City.

    I’d like to see Hittites, Perizzites and Jebusites revived as names for football teams at our Christian High School. That might make references to them in sermons more interesting. You could say, “You know the Fightin’ Jebusites of Greater Atlanta Christian? Well, their name comes from the Bible!”

    Personally, and you may have covered this already, it gets under my skin when a preacher spends 15 minutes talking about the fact that he has a tendency to run overtime on his sermons — or when a preacher spends 20 minutes explaining to the audience that the sermon’s going to be short because he didn’t have much time to prepare a sermon. Inevitably, he then drones on for 30 more minutes …

    — Erik

  33. Trey Morgan says:

    eandjrrygg…

    Welcome to the blog. Glad you’ve found your way over from OKC. I like your ideas on the schools. It would be cool to be going up against the Jacksonville Jebusites.

    Blessings

  34. Greekinator says:

    One preacher (practices 8/10 on your list?) says he can only recognize members of his church by the tops of their heads cuz that's how they snooze during his sermonizing.

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
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