Sure. You want to exegete and explain the text. Sure. You want the people in the pew to know and trust that you have done your homework. Sure. You want to put to good use the tools you learned at seminary. Sure. There are big theological words that you want to make sure your congregation understands. Sure. You want to communicate what a phrase means “in the original.” Sure. You want an eloquent four-pointer that alliterates. I get it. I do too.
But don’t forget Bubba.
Bubba don’t care.
Bubba’s been fighting with his wife all week and wondering if it’s worth it to hang on. Bubba’s been working 60 hours a week to make ends meet and is exhausted. Bubba caught his oldest son looking at porn on his phone Friday night. Bubba’s momma was just diagnosed with dementia. Bubba wishes you would hurry up with your word studies so he can fulfill his nicotine craving. Bubba is wondering if his team is going to win the game later that afternoon. Bubba has been wondering how he can convince his first wife to have more time with his kids. Bubba is wondering why he lets his boss get under his skin so bad. Bubba really wants to use his bulletin to draw up plays to try on his son’s flag football team.
Bubba didn’t wake up, shave, put on nice clothes, get the family fed and to the church building to hear a Greek word study.
Bubba needs to know why it matters. Bubba needs to know that God is real, that He cares, and how what God has said impacts him on Monday morning. Bubba wants to be a better husband, a better dad, and a good employee. Bubba wants to be there for his mom. Bubba wants to quit smoking. Bubba wants the courage to invite his co-workers to Easter. Bubba needs to hear about a God and Savior and Spirit that loves him and can—literally—transform him from the inside out.
Please, preacher, don’t forget about Bubba. He’s the guy sitting towards the back, with a serious, curious, and distracted look on his face. He will be asking about 15-20 minutes into your sermon, “So what?”
Work hard, preacher, to make sure Bubba gets a good answer.