Sometimes, though, it just goes out and says it. And that’s very much the case with Bob Fyall’s Why Are We Often So Boring? Having dedicated his life to both preaching and training others to preach, he has collected his thoughts and reflections in this small but punchy book.
His concern, of course, is that too much preaching is boring. Yet he is not lobbying for preaching that is novel or entertaining. He is not suggesting that pastors adopt some of the practices you might observe in many of today’s seeker-friendly megachurches. Rather, he wants to see pastors become committed, faithful, engaging expositors of the Word. Such preaching, while perhaps not fitting any definition of entertainment, will be interesting and effective. “Underlying this book is the conviction that expository preaching is not only one of many good things for a church but the lifeblood of a healthy fellowship. Without it, other things, which may be good in themselves, can go badly wrong and fail to build anything of lasting worth. It is hard work and, particularly when results appear to be meagre, there is the temptation to try what seems to be more attractive and rewarding. This book is an attempt to encourage all of us to stick to the task and to be the best that we can be.”
He begins the book with a brief look at the task of the preacher and the wonder that God chooses to use weak, fallible men to accomplish great things through the preaching of the Word. He wants pastors to become confident in what God has called them to do even with an awareness of their many inadequacies. He considers why too many sermons are non-events that do not accomplish what they otherwise might—whether that’s because they get bogged down in context without ever getting to the point or because they get too hung up on details that are necessary for the preacher to know but that should have been left in the study. He also offers a series of principles that underlie effective preaching.
Why Are We Often So Boring? is an excellent, helpful little book. It is not a textbook on preaching as much as a collection of an experienced pastor’s reflections on the sacred task God assigns to the pastor. It is a good reminder of what every pastor ought to know and a good refresher on how every pastor ought to preach.