Thursday, May 11, 2006

Your opinion???

I was asked if I would get opinions on something. What do you think of preachers telling jokes in the pulpit? Is it appropriate? Always? Usually? Once in awhile? Never?

I've heard preachers who seem to plan a joke to explain or highlight a point; I've heard some who seem to use the sermon material as something to string their jokes together; I've heard some who didn't plan jokes but thought of them as they were preaching -- anyway, what is your opinion?


clinch64 said...

Once in awhile would not seem to hurt, but it has gotten out of hand in many areas. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between a minister and a stand-up comedian. I think the problem is that so many seem to want a light and casual atmosphere when it comes to worship.

Neil vaught

Anonymous said...

Is a joke the same as an amusing story? I often tell an amusing story, especially when the congregation seems to be falling off. It get their attention back, and then they are ready for the "slap".

In some homiletic circles, they call it working with the people's emotions...too loose, tell a story and then lead them back to the sombre and serious side.

The main key in preaching is to be yourself. It might not be a good idea to manufacture a personality not your own.

I am English and there is no point iin trying to make myself "Southern".



Chris Price said...

rl have you any connecion to the bma or baptist board?

R. L. Vaughn said...

Chris, the first church I joined and where I was baptized was affiliated with the BMA. I am not currently connected with this association, though I have kind regards for the churches and people of it. As for the Baptist Board, I post there from time to time -- have quite a bit in the past but not too much recently, due to time constraints of other projects.

amity said...
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amity said...
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amity said...

I don't think there is anything wrong per se with humor in preaching. It even seems to me that the Bible has some humor in it, or that God at least plays off our sense of humor to make a point. The story of Balaam's ass and a certain case of 'emerods' come to mind. But if humor becomes an extra-sciptural attempt to gain the congregations attention, then it would be better to get back to scripture. The joke should bring us to some point in scripture.

James McEntire said...

I have found that spontaneous humor tends to be more effective. By that I mean humor that is not planned for. An ocassional humorous story would not necessarily be inappropriate.

If we are to err it should be on the side of caution. We do not want to bring an atmosphere of levity to preaching God's holy Word.


Anonymous said...

In our Mennonite church, our pastor almost always 'opens' with a joke, usually, if not always, unrelated to the points he then makes in his sermon. On the one hand, this seemed frivolous and "tickling the ears" of the congregation. On the other hand, I've come to appreciate how well it fits the style of our congregation, which is very informal, and where people feel free to laugh together. In this, it builds up the body by providing something we all share together. If I had my druthers, I'd wish that our church were a little less 'low,' but I'd hate to lose the sense of togetherness that comes from laughing (or groaning) together.

David White said...

I was told by an elder minister when I first started preaching to not get caught up in telling jokes because more than likely that's all the congregation will remember about what I said that day.

He then went in to telling me how he went to hear a man preach and during his sermon he told a golf joke. He said he remembers all of the joke, but nothing the man preached on.

Of course, I know of several preachers that should do stand up, but the funniest thing about that is, they aren't trying to be funny.