Four Ways to Get Out of a "One Pitch" Preaching Rut

Expanding your range can help your people grow.

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Jimmy Jackson almost made it to baseball's big leagues. He sure had a good run with the Minnesota Twins' AAA farm team. Pitching coaches routinely clocked his fastball in the mid nineties. Yep, you could always count on Jimmy's fastball.

Of course that was Jimmy's downfall too: he only threw fastballs. No curveballs, sliders, or change-ups—just blistering fastballs in roughly the same place: belt-high and smack down the middle. So after awhile every batter knew what was coming. There's a good chance he could have made the Twins' starting lineup—if he could have had at least one more pitch. But for the rest of his short career, Jimmy just kept slinging that trademark fastball.

If you're a real Twins fan, you probably know that Jimmy never existed. I made up his story to offer an important insight about preaching: just as pro baseball players get stuck in pitching ruts, pastors can get stuck in preaching ruts. One-pitch pastors usually have one good pitch, but as in Jimmy's case, ...

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Displaying 1–2 of 2 comments

Leonard Maselli

January 30, 2012  10:40am

Great article that challenged me to assess where I am at in my preaching "sweet spot" and if I linger there too much. Thanks for the insight and your authenticity sharing your experince. May we who name Jesus as our resurrected Lord keep Him central in our preaching, pastoring and managing His Kingdom work.

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James Gregory

January 23, 2012  9:51am

I have recently come through a rut. I was approached a few times by one my elders and we had some lengthy discussions. I had have been too focused on details and to wordy. Reevaluating my sermons and keeping in mind less is more has helped free me up. This article had some great insight into the important questions I and every preacher need to be asking as we write sermons. Thinking outside the box and comfort zone is a big help.

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