Today is “Father’s Day” in the United States.
And when prominent holidays pop up on the calendar, I often think a little about why I, as a gospel preacher, have personally chosen not to preach “holiday” sermons like many preachers do.
I’m going to share two main reasons I don’t, but before I do that I’m asking you to commit to reading all the way to the end so you’ll see I’m not writing this to condemn preachers who do things differently from me on this.
The biggest reason I don’t preach “holiday” sermons is this: I’ve deliberately made my ministry emphasize simplicity, sincerity, and scripture. Since the New Testament doesn’t authorize the observance of any religious holidays, if I preach sermons that align with themes of secular holidays I believe it would “blur the lines” and undermine my emphasis.
I figure if I show up the Sunday on or before December 25th and preach a sermon about the birth of Jesus, how long will it take before the congregation (and visitors) start getting the idea that Christmas IS a religious holiday after all?
I have no desire to point people in that direction intentionally or unintentionally. So I steer clear.
A second reason, and one I’ve given more thought to recently, is because there are so many holidays a preacher could be delivering a “holiday sermon” every week.
If he’ll preach on Christmas, Passover, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day, then why not preach on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Presidents’ Day?
On the other hand, there’s a principle popular in the marketing world that says you should enter the conversation already happening in a prospect’s mind. Or to say it the way I’ve heard brethren say it: “People are already thinking about it, so why wouldn’t I preach about it?”
It’s a valid point. And I can understand why some brethren choose differently from me.
If they clearly communicate that whatever they’re talking about is NOT a religious holiday—that the New Testament doesn’t authorize any religious holiday—then you won’t hear me complain about their decision.
And I trust they won’t find reason to complain about mine.
Give it some thought,