Before cancer rudely interrupted me, I was ruminating about this word 'sermony' and the disturbingly accurate way it describes sermons that sound like sermons yet leave no imprint on the soul. Before losing sight of this troubling occurrence, I need to post the antidote to sermony.
There are many ways by which a preacher can safeguard against delivering twenty minutes of stuff. But, for me, there is one golden rule. If there is one action more than any other that counteracts sermony stuff it is this:
ALWAYS ENSURE THAT THE SERMON SAYS AND DOES WHAT THE SCRIPTURE TEXT SAYS AND DOES.
This lies at the heart of preaching's dynamic. Scripture is highly active, not only conveying powerful thoughts but impacting lives when the preacher immerses not only in what God is saying but God is doing. Taking seriously the message and its purpose (to rebuke, correct, affirm, encourage, praise God, teach, etc. etc.) ensures right use of Scripture. Combine sensitive discernment of the text's saying and doing with a disciplined structure to move a sermon forward and, above all, openness to creativity generated by Father, Son and Holy Spirit brings life and conviction. And the sermon will not be sermony!