Why Sermons Often Bore

Gavin Ortlund | May 5, 2015


When Tim Keller talks about preaching, I listen. And so did roughly 1,900 others during his breakout workshop, “Preaching to the Heart,” at the recent TGC National Conference in Orlando, Florida. You can watch or listen to the entire talk. Also, Keller’s new book, Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism, will be released in June, and is available for pre-order now.

How often have we heard (or preached!) sermons that feel more like a lecture than a sermon—sermons that inform, but fail to transform. Keller helped us think about how to preach to the heart, and through the heart to the whole person.

Reach the Heart to Reach the Whole Person

Keller began his workshop by referencing Alec Motyer’s observation that a preacher has two responsibilities: first, to the truth he proclaims, and second, to the people to whom he proclaims it. Books on preaching tend to focus on the first, neglecting the equally vital work of contextualization and application. This imbalance partly explains why much expository preaching fails to speak to the heart.

The biblical understanding of the heart is unique in human thought. Throughout history, humans have tended to pit the mind and the heart against one another: ancient cultures…


To read the rest of this article, visit http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/why-sermons-often-bore.