Parson to Person:
A Sermon-Rating System? July 29, 2022
I once read about a sermon-rating system that coincides somewhat with movie ratings. I thought you might find it interesting food for thought, so here it is:
A "G" rating means the sermon is generally acceptable to everyone. Full of inoffensive platitudes, it's usually described as "wholesome" or "wonderful."
"PG" is for somewhat more mature congregations. At times this sermon is even relevant to today's issues and may contain mild suggestions for change. It is often described as "challenging"--even though no one intends to take any action or change any attitudes as a result.
"R-rated" is definitely restricted to those not easily upset. This sermon is threatening to the comfortable and is most often described as "disturbing."
"X-rated" sermons are positively limited to those who can handle explosive ideas; they are almost always described as "shocking" or "in poor taste." In fact, the minister who preaches this sermon had better have an outside source of income--and/or an established rapport with a pulpit committee of a church looking for a minister.
I'm not sure which of my sermons might fall into one or another of the above categories. But I do hope we have enough "comfort the afflicted" and "afflict the comfortable" services to give us the right amount of ...
peace and unrest,