'But seriously folks': Humor's role in pulpit assessed

"The legendary British preacher Charles Spurgeon was once rebuked by a woman in his congregation who felt he used too much humor in his sermons. As Baptist historian Michael Haykin recounts the story, Spurgeon replied, 'Well, madam, if you knew the number of things that I refrain from saying, you would give me more credit.'"

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Aaron Blumer's picture


A few months ago we had a guest preacher in on Sunday AM who has probably changed my view of pulpit humor. I'm not for turning preaching into a comedy monologue, but this guy was just being himself and speaking from the heart as he knows how... and I hadn't laughed so much on a Sunday morning ever in my life. As a steady pastoral diet, I'm not sure how well that works out. But I came to the conclusion/had it reinforced that there's a diff. between planning jokes and one liners etc. to be more entertaining vs. being funny because you have natural comedic timing & a keen eye for the humorous incongruities that are all over the place in human behavior.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

jreeseSr's picture

  Dr. Gibbs of the CLA has represented us years ago and we have had him speak a few times at our church...He can be the most "entertaining" of speakers and his recounting of his life experiences are just hilarious ,,,but he always uses them to drive home a very solid simple biblical principle.....I really dont care for the silliness some demonstrate but I do love to learn once you have my attention...even if its garnered by humor..