For your sermons to be most effective you should have moments of great intensity balanced with moments of relief.
I once preached a sermon on how to change. The sermon was intense because it dealt with the fallen human condition. I talked about addiction, abuse, pain, hang-ups, hurts and everything in between. The general feel of the sermon was intense. It was heavy. When I finished preaching the first of two services that day I could not shake the feeling that the sermon needed some relief. It was too heavy. It was overwhelming in a way that wasn’t productive.
You might be thinking, Wait! Heaviness is good. Intensity is good. People need their toes stepped on! That’s just the Holy Spirit working on them! I don’t deny that some intensity is needed. I don’t deny that God can use the heaviness to move people. And I understand the power of his Word to cut through hard hearts and break down barriers.
But we are communicating with human beings who need to process the intensity.
If your preaching is nothing but intense, then eventually all your words begin to sound the same. If every single word is vitally important, then no words are important. You get the most out of your intensity when it is balanced with relief.
In this episode, we'll discuss how to strike a productive balance between intensity and relief.