W. A. Criswell once said, “There is something wrong if a man charged with the greatest news in the world can be listless and frigid and dull.” In other words, as John Wesley put it, “Put fire in your sermon, or put your sermon in the fire.”
If there is anything I try not to be is “frigid and dull” when I proclaim the gospel. For that matter, I hate be “frigid and dull” in business meetings. I would make a horrible librarian, I suppose. My preaching style is one that seeks to wake the sleeping, not put people to sleep.
By the Fire
But even though I like to keep some fire in my sermons, I have never preached with a fire. This Sunday will be a first.
Our church is having Vacation Bible School this weekend, and the theme is “Hay Day!” The stage in the main auditorium is set up to sorta look like a cross between a farm and a cowboy campsite – complete with an electric fire. On Sunday morning is when everything will wrap up, so the stage will remain set up for a campfire sermon.
It’s gonna be interesting, that’s for sure. Lord willing, I am going to remain 75% in character as I talk with a fellow cowboy/farmer about the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19). It should be entertaining for both the children and adults. Let’s just pray the sermon, preached by a fake fire, is full of some of that real “fire” John Wesley described.