Preaching by the numbers


Occasionally magazines some how end up in my mailbox. This time, Your Church found its way there. And there was something I found interesting.

According to a study it cites, 55 percent of pastors can identify at least one topic they avoid preaching on or preach on sparingly because it could make people not want to come back to church.

Those topics:

Politics — 38%           

Homosexuality — 23%

Abortion –18%

Same-Sex Marriage — 17%

War –17%

Women’s Roles in Church and Home –13%

Doctrine of Election — 13%

Hell — 7%

Money — 3%

Pastors, does this resonate with you? What do you think of the notion of avoiding topics in fear of people not coming back?

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3 Responses to “Preaching by the numbers”

  1. Tim Dahl Says:

    Not at all.

    I think that what isn’t mentioned may even be more important…

    What about obesity? Look at the waist lines of the preachers, and the lay people. We are fat, and have the epidemic diseases in our society to prove it. I be there is a correlation as to why our body being the Temple of the Holy Spirit isn’t preached on that often.

    How about the evils of a consumeristic economy? How always being told by our government to “spend” if you love America is keeping us in debt, making mammon our Master. How the pursuit of stuff (gluttony anyone?) may very well be one of our chief sins.

    What about preaching on our societies ills, how America is a failure when it comes to education? Any given year, more than 1/3 of our children drop out of schools. If that isn’t a crisis looming large, I don’t know what is. Yet, most of the preacher can’t get out of their chairs to go mentor a 3rd grader. Maybe that is why the laypeople don’t seem to want to do it either. Schools would love to have volunteers, any volunteer! But we are to busy making the big bucks to care.

    I’m sorry, but with exception to possibly money and war, I think the things that aren’t said are more telling.

    John, thanks for bringing this up. We all need to be aware of not only what we are preaching, but what we aren’t preaching as well.


  2. David Says:

    It isn’t whether or not to preach on these topics (a pastor should on occasion), but how to preach on them.

  3. Tim Dahl Says:

    What you say is very true, David.

    I praise God that pastors get the freedom to choose any biblical text, at any time under the direction of the Holy Spirit. You never know when the Lord will put something on your heart that speaks directly, and pointedly to a particular concern in your congregation. What an honor and responsibility!

    Also, there is much to be gained by preaching exegetically through books of the Bible. You can’t preach through Genesis, and not talk about tithing at least once. You can’t preach through Romans, and not talk about homosexuality, women in ministry, election, etc. If we preach the whole Bible, then we will hit upon these thing. But, we have to preach the whole Bible, and now only our favorite parts.


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