You Might Want to Fact-Check Your Pastor’s Sermon

[This illustration I heard is a…] great story about the power of a good deed. There’s just one problem: Almost nothing about this story is true. It’s one of the most popular myths about Churchill, according Snopes.com and the Downers Grove, Illinois-based Churchill Centre. How do I know this? During the sermon, I stopped listening…

Research: Americans Prefer In-Person Preaching to Video

So do the rest of us, no doubt. Most Americans still prefer a real-live preacher to a video sermon, according to a survey from Nashville-based LifeWay Research. About a third (35 percent) say they will only visit churches with a live sermon. Three in 10 say a video sermon won’t keep them from a church,…

The Best Preacher I Ever Had

A post I saw in the NCR: I have been thinking about the best preacher I ever heard.  Not about the single best homily or sermon, but about the best and most consistent preaching I have encountered. When it comes to preaching, we all have our horror stories and I have done my fair share…

A Case for the 10 Minute Homily

Over at Canterbury Tales a day or two ago: Yesterday was the feast of Saint Peter Chrysologus (AD 380-450). The Greek nickname Χρυσολόγος means “golden-worded.” His nickname refers to the fact that he was the most celebrated preacher of his time. He was the Saint John Chrysostom of the West. But if you study his famous…

Don’t Fear Preaching as Jesus Preached

Msgr Charles Pope writes: Some years ago I was stationed with a priest who, while he often liked my homilies, would often critique my use of what he called “fear based preaching.” Perhaps I had warned the congregation of punishment for sin, or even let slip that certain things were mortal sins that would exclude one…

Good Sermon, Father

Dear Father X, Every Sunday, as we walk out the door, we shake your hand and say, “Good sermon, Father.” We’re not lying. We’re usually fairly satisfied with what you have to say, but no one is perfect. Even Kobe Bryant misses the occasional easy layup. You studied preaching in seminary, and presumably your professors…