Tension Keeps Your Hearers Stuck to the Sermon
When it comes to messages that stick, tension equals attention.
You know that feeling of being locked in as preacher? When you depart from the pulpit confident that the message you intended to give was the one given. You witnessed congregants lean forward and engage every movement of your message. All the words pouring from your mouth feel less like a sermon delivered from your head and more like a message flowing from your heart. These are the sacred moments that make us grateful to God for the opportunity to preach in a local church.
Then there are times that are quite the opposite. Somewhat ironically, it often happens the next Sunday. The sermon feels like walking through quicksand—no traction for your hearers whatsoever. The dynamic of the room is at a low ebb, if not completely dead. You wonder what went wrong.
What eats at you is that you didn’t prepare any differently. One question dominates your thinking: Why?
- Why was this preaching event so sub-par?
- Why did the congregation seem so distant?
- Why did last week’s sermon connect and move my congregants, while this week’s did exactly the opposite?